The much awaited HC Andersen Prize was unveiled on Monday, March 21 as part of Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy. It is considered to be the highest international award given to young writers and illustrators since its inception in 1956.
Marie-Aude Murail is the winner of the “writing” category and the Korean cartoonist Suzy Lee for it in the category “illustration”.
Marie-Aude Murail was chosen for the jury for the HC Andersen Prize 2022 because she is an author, “committed to the cause of children and reading, a serious observer of the world, and with humor and benevolent optimism, he opens many windows to the great questions of modern society.”
The last French author to receive this award was René Guillot (the author of White horsehair especially) in 1964.
FRANCEINFO JUNIOR LIVRES – Listen to the full interview with Marie-Aude Murail (11 min.)
Marie-Aude Murail: I have been on a small cloud since, allowing me to discuss with my predecessor, who is René Guillot in 1964. So France had actually been waiting for some time to receive this award. I was 10 at the time, I did not know exactly what it was.
What you need to know, and what also motivated me to hope for this award, is that René Guillot was born in Courcoury, which is a small village in Charente. Small village where my husband saw my kids spent their summers. He has his street. It must be the only rue René Guillot in France. He has his street in Courcoury, and when I heard about his fate, I was a very young writer, and I said to myself that after him, after Astrid Lindgren, Tove Jansson, and a few others, yes it would be me … I made this promise to myself. I have it today!
franceinfo: What more does this HC Andersen award give you?
Marie-Aude Murail: I often say that when I receive my books translated, I have more emotions. It’s going to work hard for you, but I’m more emotional than when it’s my books in French. Maybe because I have a business leadership side in me and I want us to cross borders.
But I really want to export our culture and our language. I have traveled a lot around the world. I went to French institutes, I went to French colleges, but also to foreign colleges and institutions. But everywhere. I went to Toronto, I went to Lima, to St. Petersburg, with my backpack, with my books on my back, but also with my little tri-colored flag.
“For me, it was important that my books crossed the border, and that was it from the start.”Marie-Aude Murail
at france info
This award is also wonderful news for all your readers who accompany you. Children of today, of course, and also former children who have grown up …
They grew up with my books. And then I see them at book fairs and they come back. They come back with their kids and I see that they share the books, and especially what gives me great joy is when they share them out loud because they read together.
That’s what children’s literature represents to me. In fact, it is a family literature and it is made to be able to share feelings and then discuss together. I sometimes see grandmothers saying: It allowed me to better understand my grandson, and that’s what I want, these books are a support for discussion and also for love.
“I’m on the field, I’m with them, I’m on their side. Children’s cause has always been mine.”Marie-Aude Murail
at france info
How do you explain such success? And in addition in continuity?
I do not know how it happens. I just know that when I started writing, it was not for the school teacher, it was for my little sister. So the movement for me to address younger people is completely spontaneous. And my reward is what they give me in return. Unwavering optimism.
Because, as this educator said, when you are in contact with children, you have no right to be desperate. And so I, who could have movements like all adults, of fatigue, even of sadness, as I have them in front of me, just as much when I’m in the classrooms, the libraries, as when I write to them, I don ‘t despair . They give me and I give them things. It’s giving and taking with them, and for years now …
“I’m not porridge at all. Simply when I leave a children’s room after saying goodnight, I leave a night light. So the night light is called hope. And in my children’s books, always on, that’s it.”
Marie-Aude Murail, Honorary Legion official for her contribution to the “radiance of France through culture”, has won several youth awards. Since sea dogsat Oh boy!Passing by Miss Charity Where Savior and Son.
This HC Andersen award is an excellent tribute to his work. She has written more than a hundred books, and probably even more, since she has been writing since she was 12 years old. Translated into 22 languages, more than half of his books are published in France at L’école des loisirs, the most recent of which, Angie.
The jury for the HC Andersen Prize did not make a mistake. It is a well-deserved tribute to a talented writer, and also to an entire personality who always knows how to aim high and beautiful with children.
Angie is a series to read from 13 years old, written with his brother, Lorris Murail, who sadly passed away. Volume 3, with the title At why not hotel? has just been published in L’école des loisirs (23/03/22).
It is the police investigation with the young Angie of 12 years, she is accompanied by her neighbor and friend, police captain Augustin Maupetit, whom she was able to meet “thanks” to confinement.
Find lots of other reading ideas on the website for kibookin. For all ages and for all tastes, no more excuses for not finding your nugget to read!