The lebanese writer Charif Majdalani won the special Jury Prize for the Prix Femina Essai (2020) for his book "Beyrouth 2020, Journal d'un effondrement" (Actes Sud / L'orient des Livres, 2020).
"At the beginning of summer 2020 in Lebanon – a country ruined by an economic crisis and inflation where people in Beirut stand up for a true democracy while the world is petrified by the coronavirus crisis –, Charif Majdalani undertakes the writing of a journal.
He wishes to give an account of this terrible and confusing period and confront it with his experience, thoughts, and emotions – and perhaps endure it through writing. This chronicle of suffocation and collapse is struck on August 4th by the explosion in the city’s port of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate. From this moment on, the book becomes a testimony of the catastrophe and the uprising, the portrait of a city stunned by the violence of its own history, the account of “fates thrown to the winds”.
The portrait of the author was taken in Beyrouth in 2010.
Charif Majdalani is represented in the book « Portraits d’Auteurs / Author Portraits » (Carlsson 2020) which present a collection of 78 black and white portraits of international writers.