Author of the Month: Alain Mabanckou

Born in Congo-Brazzaville in 1966 Alain Mabanckou, in poetry, novels, essays and memoir, has established himself as one of the leading Francophone writers in the African diaspora. Mixing tragedy with high farce, surreal humour and twists of magical realism, his novels, set both in Congo and in African Paris, have elicited comparison with Dickens, Samuel Beckett and Borges, although Mabanckou himself suggests Céline and James Baldwin as precursors. Such a long list of possible comparisons – J.M.G. Le Clézio adds Salinger and Achebe to the list – implies, quite correctly, that he is incomparable. Check out some of his titles here, and come and meet them in person at the shop throughout March.

Black Moses

Alain Mabanckou, translated by Helen Stevenson

From the publisher:

LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE 2017 It’s 1970, and in the People’s Republic of Congo a Marxist-Leninist revolution is ushering in a new age. But over ...

African Psycho

Alain Mabanckou, translated by Christine Schwartz Hartley

From the publisher:

Finalist for the Man Booker International Prize 2015 Gregoire Nakobomayo, a petty criminal, has decided to kill his girlfriend Germaine. He’s planned the crime for some ...

The Lights of Pointe-Noire

Alain Mabanckou, translated by Helen Stevenson

From the publisher:

Finalist for the Man Booker International Prize 2015 Alain Mabanckou left Congo in 1989, at the age of twenty-two, not to return until a quarter of a century later. When at ...

Tomorrow I’ll be Twenty

Alain Mabanckou, foreword by J. M. G. Le Clezio, translated by Helen Stevenson

From the publisher:

Michel is ten years old, living in Pointe Noire, Congo, in the 1970s. His mother sells peanuts at the market, his father works at the Victory Palace Hotel, and brings home ...

Broken Glass

Alain Mabanckou, translated by Helen Stevenson

From the publisher:

Broken Glass is a Congolese riff on European classics from the most notable Francophone African writer of his generation.

Letter to Jimmy

Alain Mabanckou, translated by Sara Meli Ansari

From the publisher:

Written on the twentieth anniversary of James Baldwin’s death, Letter to Jimmy is African writer Alain Mabanckou’s ode to his literary hero and an effort to place ...

The Negro Grandsons of Vercingetorix

Alain Mabanckou, translated by Bill Johnston

From the publisher:

Set in the imaginary African Republic of Vietongo, The Negro Grandsons of Vercingetorix begins when conflict breaks out between rival leaders and the regional ethnic groups ...

The Tears of the Black Man

Alain Mabanckou, translated by Dominic Thomas

From the publisher:

Embracing the challenges faced by ethnic minority communities today, The Tears of the Black Man looks to the future, arguing that the history of Africa has yet to be written ...

Black Bazaar

Alain Mabanckou, translated by Sarah Ardizzone

From the publisher:

Offers an account of a Black dandy trying to cut it in Paris.