Akos Verboczy receives the New Contribution Award 2024


March 15 2024


Prize / Recipient


Press Release

March 14, 2024 — Akos Verboczy receives the Blue Metropolis/Conseil des arts de Montréal 2024 New Contribution Prize for his first novel, La Maison de mon père (Boréal), a beautiful novel of exile and the impossibility of return. Back in Budapest, his birthplace, for a week-long trip, a man seeks traces of his family members and childhood friends, and has the idea to revisit a house long cherished by his father. But what do the memories and dreams become?

The New Contribution literary prize, awarded jointly by the Blue Metropolis Foundation and the Conseil des arts de Montréal, aims to draw attention to the new, immigrant literary voices who are enriching our literature, for whom Montreal has become a nexus. It recognizes a work by a allophone Montreal author who is a first or second generation immigrant. This work may be a first book, or one of the author’s first three published works. All literary genres are eligible.

Born in Hungary, Akos Verboczy arrived in Québec at age eleven. He has been a columnist, a writer of guides, speeches and official reports. In 2016, with the same publisher, Akos Verboczy published Rhapsodie québécoise: Itinéraire d’un enfant de la loi 101, which is halfway between an essay and an autobiographical narrative.

The Blue Metropolis/Conseil des arts de Montréal New Contribution Prize awards the winner a $ 5000 grant.

Nathalie Maillé, general director of the Conseil des arts de Montréal, declared: “I am delighted that the New Contribution Prize, which recognized immigrant voices that enrich our literature, has been awarded to the talented writer Akos Verboczy. Skillfully combining nostalgia and irony, his first novel, La maison de mon père, plunges us into the quest of a Hungarian man who has been in Montreal for many years. A diary of a spontaneous return to origins in his homeland, this work illustrates the immutability and robustness of roots, of “how we remain the person we have always been”.”

The members of the 2024 jury are Ghayas Hachem (novelist), Isabel Cout (translator and academic), and Annabelle Moreau (editor).

According the jury, La Maison de mon père is “imbued with an addictive nostalgia and a disarming sincerity […] a love-cry for the narrator’s native Hungary, and a brilliant homage to the form of the novel.” It is a novel “which draws its power not from dramatic tension or from its plot, but rather from the quality of its descriptions, the tender liveliness of its portraits, and the deep and ambivalent nostalgia which animates it.”
The two finalists for the New Contribution Prize are:

Éric Chacour, Ce que je sais de toi, Alto Editions. According to the jury, it “recounts with tenderness, compassion and precision a queer love story in the Arab world at the end of the 20th century,” adding that “everywhere that it has been read, this debut book […] has been conquering an ever-growing public. Éric Chacour is already a great novelist.”

Mirabel, The Vanishing Act (& The Miracle After), Guernica Editions. In this poetry collection, which reflects on the question of grief, the jury underlined the presence of a “lucidity which is manifested in the fluidity of the rhythm, and in the suppleness of its varied imagery,” and that “certain poems are of a remarkable precision and sensitivity.”

Our congratulations to the winner and to the finalists.

The winner, Akos Verboczy, and the two finalists, Éric Chacour and Mirabel, will be present at the 26th edition of the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, which will take place in Montreal, from the 25 to the 28 of April, 2024.

The details and complete schedule of events can be found at: http://bluemetropolis.org/festival2024/

About the Conseil des arts de Montréal

Offering various forms of assistance, the Conseil des arts de Montréal identifies, supports and recognizes artistic innovation and creative expression in all their diversity to promote Montreal’s artists and arts organizations active in creation, production and presentation. Since 1956, the Conseil has played a unique role as a catalyst for this artistic ecosystem, helping make Montreal one of the world’s great cultural metropolises.

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Source: Marie-Andrée Lamontagne,
General Director, Programming and Communications

For details and interviews:
Relations avec les médias (français) : Felipe del Pozo
(514) 616-4713 ou felipe@feliperp.com

Anglophone media: Janis Kirshner
514 287-8912 ou jkirshner@sympatico.ca