Two recent events illustrate the commitment of Québec and Wallonia-Brussels to promoting French-language literature.
In late February, Fadila Laanan, Audiovisual and Cultural Minister for Wallonia-Brussels, awarded the French Community of Belgium’s Prix du Rayonnement des Lettres à l'étranger to Québec professor, author, and publisher Gilles Pellerin. Awarded for the first time in 1998, the Prix du Rayonnement recognizes a foreign national who has worked to promote the literature of Wallonia-Brussels in his or her home country. Mr. Pellerin is a professor of French and literature as well as a short story writer, essayist, and literary critic. He is also involved in a number of literary reviews and cultural and literary programs, which he also edits. He has always strived to defend and illustrate the diversity of French-language literature, including that of Wallonia and Brussels.
Once again this year Québec had a strong presence at Foire du Livre de Bruxelles. Some forty publishers and over a dozen authors took part in this major event held March 5 to 9 under the theme “Crisis and Creation.” During the event, writing activities for the public helped recreate the spirit of giving that characterizes writing workshops led by professional writers in Québec and across the French-speaking world.