Published on 30 June 2021

Loubna Serraj, winner of the 3rd Orange Book Award in Africa


The Orange Book Award in Africa rewards Loubna Serraj for her novel Pourvu qu’il soit de bonne humeur, (‘Let’s hope he’s in a good mood’) published in Morocco by La Croisée des chemins.

Engaged in 18 countries in Africa, our goal is to support these countries with their development, including in the area of culture. To do this, in 2018 we launched the Orange Book Prize in Africa. This Award, in partnership with the Institut Français, reflects a desire to work to promote literary talent in Africa and encourage the local publishing industry.

Loubna Serraj’s first novel

Loubna Serraj has made her passion for reading and writing her profession. A radio editor and commentator, she also has a blog in which she reveals her literary, social or political ‘musings’ on current topics with a deliberately quirky perspective.

While describing domestic violence as a backdrop, her first novel, Pourvu qu’il soit de bonne humeur, explores the quest for freedom of two women separated yet connected by everything...through no will of their own.

Published in Morocco by La Croisée des chemins in February 2020, Pourvu qu’il soit de bonne humeur was jointly published in France by Au diable vauvert in March 2021. Pourvu qu’il soit de bonne humeur is also part of a joint publishing project in several African countries (Mali, Algeria, Tunisia, Guinea Conakry and Côte d’Ivoire) as part of the Club d’Oujda, an African and French publishers’ collective dedicated to circulating publications. The visibility given by the Orange Book Award in Africa will support this distribution wherever it takes place.


An international panel chaired by Véronique Tadjo

For this 3rd edition of the prize, 74 novels were entered by 44 publishing houses based in 16 different countries. An initial shortlist of titles was made by 5 reading committees in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali and Tunisia. The 6 novels selected were submitted for the panel’s appraisal to select the winner.

Chaired by author Véronique Tadjo (Côte d’Ivoire), the panel comprised writers, literary critics, journalists and recognized personalities from the literary world: Yvan Amar (journalist from RFI, France), Kidi Bebey (journalist, editor and author, France), Yahia Belaskri (writer and journalist, Algeria), Eugène Ebodé (writer, Cameroon), Youssouf Elalamy (author, 2020 winner, Morocco), Valérie Marin La Meslée (journalist Le Point, France), Nicolas Michel (journalist Jeune Afrique, France), Gabriel Mwènè Okoundji (psychologist and poet, Congo) and Mariama Ndoye (author, Senegal).