5 Francophone writers to discover

Alain Mabanckou

Alain Mabanckou was born in 1966 in the Congo. He currently lives in LA, where he teaches literature at UCLA. He is the author of six volumes of poetry and six novels. He is the winner of the Grand Prix de la Littérature 2012, and has received the Subsaharan African Literature Prize and the Prix Renaudot. He was selected by the French journal Lire as one of the fifty writers to watch out for this coming century. His previous books include African Psycho, Broken Glass Memoirs of a Porcupine and Black Bazaar. In 2015 he was listed as a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize.

Alain Mabanckou will be joinning us at #AfricaWrites17 on July 2nd. Book now


Fatou Diome

Fatou Diome was born in 1968 in Niodior, a small island in Senegal. She was raised by her grandmother. As a thirteen-year-old, she left her village to continue her studies in other Senegalese cities and financed her wandering-life by various jobs. She attended M’Bour high school, worked as a maid in Gambia, finally starting her academic studies in Dakar. Aged 22, she married a French citizen and decided to follow him to France. In 1994, she settled in Alsace and continued her studies at the University of Strasbourg. From 2002 to 2003, she was a part-time lecturer at the Marc Loch University of Strasbourg and at the Institute of Pedagogy of Karlsruhe (Germany). From September 2004 to November 2006, she presented the cultural and literary show “Sleepless night” hosted by the French channel France 3 Alsace. Her first novel, Le ventre de l’Atlantique (translated into English as “The Belly of the Atlantic”) was a resounding success.

JJ Bola

JJ Bola is a Kinshasa born, London raised writer, poet, and educator.  JJ Bola published three books of poetry Elevate (2012) and Daughter of the Sun (2014) and WORD (2015) is his most comprehensive poetry collection. His work is centred on a narrative of empowerment, humanisation, healing of trauma as well as discovery of self through art, literature and poetry. No Place to Call Home is his debut novel, published by Own It! (2017).

JJ will be launching his debut novel on July 2nd. Get your tickets now


Véronique Tadjo

Véronique Tadjo is an academic, writer and artist. Born in Paris and raised in Côte d’Ivoire, she did most of her studies in Abidjan before earning a doctorate in Black American Literature and Civilization at the Sorbonne, Paris IV. She has written novels, poems and books for young people which she illustrates. Her work has been translated in many languages. Latest novel: Far from my father (University of Virginia Press, 2014). She shares her time between London and Abidjan.

Rachid Boudjedra

Rashid Boudjedra  is an Algerian poet, novelist, playwright and critic. Boudjedra wrote in French from 1965 to 1981, at which point he switched to writing in Arabic, often translating his own works back and forth between the two languages. Boudjedra returned to writing in French in 1992 and has continued to write in that language ever since. Educated in Constantine and in Tunis (at the Collège Sadiki), Boudjedra later fought for the FLN during the Algerian War of Independence. He received his degree in philosophy from the Sorbonne, where he wrote a thesis on Céline.  Boudjedra’s fiction is written in a difficult, complex style, reminiscent of William Faulkner or Gabriel García Márquez in its intricacy.