Dany Laferrière : Recipient of the 2010 Blue Metropolis Literary Grand Prix
Journalist, TV and radio host, screenwriter, and director, Dany Laferrière worked as a journalist in his native Haiti during the notorious Duvalier regime, immigrating to Canada in 1978 after a colleague was murdered. He settled in Montreal, where he worked at various low-paying jobs while writing his first novel, Comment faire l'amour avec un Nègre sans se fatiguer (1985) [How to Make Love to a Negro, 1987]. A semi-autobiographical account of an impoverished black immigrant and his attraction to white women, the book was a critical and commercial success, and was later made into a feature film and translated into several languages.
The author of sixteen novels, he has won several awards, among them the first Prix Carbet des lycéens 2000 for Le cri des oiseaux fous and the Prix RFO du Livre 2002 for Cette grenade dans la main du jeune nègre est-elle une arme ou un fruit ? [Why Must a Black Writer Write about Sex? 1995]. Laferrière won the 2006 Governor General's Award for Je suis fou de Vava, his first novel for children.
Laferrière's most recent book in English, Heading South [Douglas & McIntyre, 2009], which was made into the award-wining film starring Charlotte Rampling, is a provocative book that explores the line between sexual liberation and exploitation. In Fall 2010 Douglas & McIntyre will publish Laferrière's I am a Japanese Writer , a devilishly intelligent, sensual and hilarious tale of a blocked Montreal writer who one day learns that he is famous in Japan for having written a novel he never wrote.Having divided his time in recent years between Montreal, New York and Miami, Dany Laferrière considers himself as a citizen of the Americas. It is in this spirit that he writes what he has called his American Autobiography, a big project of a dozen titles which draws a portrait of the Americas, Haiti and Montreal. Dany Laferrière's books have been translated into a dozen languages, including Korean and Polish. His latest novel, L'énigme du retour, has won the Prix Médicis 2009.