For their efforts in writing/directing the book, Acadie Then and Now: A People’s History, co-directors/authors Warren Perrin, Mary Broussard Perrin of Lafayette and Phil Comeau of Montreal have been awarded le Prix France-Acadie 2015.
The final deliberation by the jury took place this week in Paris, France. The award ceremony will take place on November 20 in Paris. This is the first time a book with Louisiana content wins this international award.
Acadie Then and Now is a comprehensive study of the Acadians around the world and includes an international collection of articles from 55 authors that chronicles the historical and contemporary realities of the Acadian and Cajun people worldwide.
Warren Perrin said that the idea for the book came to fruition after he, Pat Mould, and Kermit Bouillion visited Lanaudiere, a region east of Montreal in Quebec. Perrin found that there were over 30,000 Acadians in that region alone and, despite his travels in 25 years of representing CODOFIL (the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana), he didn't know it existed. “We had lunch with a historian" Perrin said, "and our guide, Vera Petley, and I realized that it was necessary to write a book to show that Acadie exists in many regionsin the world today.”
After that, a group email was sent to more than 100 historians and contemporary writers from many countries and then the outline of the book was put together.
“Phil Comeau, an Acadian in Montreal came to Lafayette to present his new work at Pat Mire's Cinema on the Bayou film festival, and my wife and co-author Mary and I had dinner with him, and we asked him to come on board and help us,” said Perrin, adding that Comeau “was very instrumental putting the book together. This allowed Mary and me to do a French and English version simultaneously.”
Le Prix France-Acadie is an initiative of the French association Amitiés France - Acadie, created in 1976 and is supported by the Foundation of France. The association's mission is to develop cultural and friendly relations between Acadians and French and to strengthen the ties between Canada and the World Francophone community.
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pictured above: the authors on tour with their book in Louisiana