… Antonine Maillet, for her novel, Pélagie.
Antonine Maillet is the first female winner of the Obooki Prize, and the first winner from outside Europe. She is in fact Canadian.
Pélagie is about a place I’ve never heard of, Acadie, and a slice of history I’d never heard of: the displacement of the French colonists by the British and their traumatic scattering across America. The novel tells of the long trek across the continent they undertake to get back to their homeland, as derived from the preserved – and often disputed – oral tradition.
The runner-up was A Personal Matter, by Kenzaburo Oë.