En France le 20 août 2015
Édition du Seuil
Jeune orphelin de Pointe-Noire, Petit Piment effectue sa scolarité dans une institution catholique placée sous l’autorité abusive et corrompue de Dieudonné Ngoulmoumako. Arrive bientôt la révolution socialiste, les cartes sont redistribuées, et Petit Piment en profite pour s’évader avec des jumeaux à la brutalité légendaire, abandonnant ainsi son meilleur ami, qui refuse de le suivre. Il s’adonne alors, avec son clan, à toutes sortes de larcins, jusqu’à ce que les habitants décident de nettoyer leur zone d’action. Petit Piment trouve refuge auprès de Maman Fiat 500 et de ses dix filles, et la vie semble enfin lui sourire dans la gaîté quotidienne de cette maison pas si close que ça, où il rend toutes sortes de services. Mais le maire de Pointe-Noire décide d’une nouvelle intervention énergique contre la prostitution. C’en est trop. Petit Piment perd la tête. De bonnes âmes cherchent à le soigner (médecine, psychanalyse, magie ou sorcellerie), mais l’apparente maladie mentale ne lui fait pas perdre le nord : il a une vengeance à prendre contre celui qui a brisé son destin.
Letter to Jimmy
Édition Soft Skull Press
Parution aux USA en décembre 2014
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 Baldwin’s life in context within the greater African diaspora.
Beginning with a chance encounter with a beggar wandering along a Santa Monica beach—a man whose ragged clothes and unsteady gait remind the author of a character out of one of James Baldwin’s novels— Mabanckou uses his own experiences as an African living in the US as a launching pad to take readers on a fascinating tour of James Baldwin’s life. As Mabanckou reads Baldwin’s work, looks at pictures of him through the years, and explores Baldwin’s checkered publishing history, he is always probing for answers about what it must have been like for the young Baldwin to live abroad as an African-American, to write obliquely about his own homosexuality, and to seek out mentors like Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison only to publicly reject them later.
As Mabanckou travels to Paris, reads about French history and engages with contemporary readers, his letters to Baldwin grow more intimate and personal. He speaks to Baldwin as a peer—a writer who paved the way for his own work, and Mabanckou seems to believe, someone who might understand his experiences as an African expatriate.
Alain Mabanckou was born in Congo-Brazzavile in 1966. He is the author of Broken Glass (Soft Skull 2010), Memoirs of a Porcupine (Soft Skull 2006) and African Psycho (Soft Skull 2007) among others. He currently divides his time between Paris and California, where he teaches French Literature at UCLA.
Alain Mabanckou receives certificate from the Republic of Guinea
UCLA Professor Alain Mabanckou received a certificate of recognition from the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Guinea on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 to recognize his contributions for his promotion of Guinean culture.
The UCLA African Studies Center helped celebrate UCLA Professor Alain Mabanckou, from the French and Francophone Department, and his achievements in literature as he received a certificate of recognition from the Republic of Guinea for his contribution to the promotion of Guinean culture in the United States. The Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Guinea Jordan Garcia presented Professor Mabanckou with the certificate while faculty members from the French and Francophone Department as well as other guests attended the luncheon.
Mail & Guardian Africa
Ten fiction books by African authors that you should pick up now for your holiday
Inhabiting the full spectrum from funny and scathing to dark and haunting; the latest books from some of Africa's leading novelists (...)
French Embassy in the U.S.
December 6, 2014
Top 10 French Books of the Year—Book Department Picks
Letter to Jimmy, by Alain Mabanckou
Translated by Sara Meli Ansari (Softskull Press)
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Written on the twentieth anniversary of James Baldwin’s death, Letter to Jimmy is Alain Mabanckou’s ode to his literary hero and an effort to place Baldwin’s life in context within the greater African diaspora.
“This short book is a touching and personal tribute to James Baldwin by Congolese- (Brazzaville-) born writer Mabanckou (Memoirs of a Porcupine, 2012). […] Mabanckou has written an odd, emotional, and quite beautiful homage to a writer who remains a major African American voice almost 27 years after his death.”—Booklist (...)
The TIA 100 – Best Books, 2010-2014
This is Africa's 100 Best Books in fiction, poetry, memoir and non-fiction, published between 2010 and 2014, selected by Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, Oris Aigbokhaevbolo, Kagure Mugo and Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire (...)
Alain Mabanckou (born 24 February 1966) is a novelist, poet, essayist and academic, a French citizen born in the Republic of the Congo, he is currently a Professor of French Literature and Francophone Studies at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He is best known for his novels and non-fiction writing depicting the experience of contemporary Africa and the African diaspora in France. He is among the best known and most successful writers in the French language and one of the best known African writers in France.
Mabanckou dedicated himself increasingly to writing after the publication of his first novel, Bleu-Blanc-Rouge (Blue-White-Red), which won him the Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire in 1999. Since then he has continued to regularly publish prose and well as poetry. His African Psycho, Le Serpent à Plumes (2003) is a novel written from the point of view of Gregoire Nakobomayo, a fictional African serial killer. (...)
The Huffington Post
Alain Mabanckou - January 2015
I, Too, Am America
I come from a tiny country, Congo Brazzaville, where by all appearances we have historically nothing to do with the United States: we were colonized by the French, and we speak French, not English. However I live in America, and when this country comes down with the flu, I necessarily contract the same illness. When I see an African American, it occurs to me that he could be a distant member of my family, and that what happens to him in America could easily happen to me one day. The most powerful country in the world reveals its weakness when its foundations are rattled by the question of race and when the American dream evaporates into an apocalyptic fog. (...)
The Daily Beast
November 6, 2014
Living Black & Gay in the ’50s
In the centenary year of his birth, author James Baldwin has only gained in stature for the wisdom with which he wrote about being black and gay when it wasn’t easy being either.
You brushed off labels like “Negro,” “ghetto boy,” “bastard,” and, more than anything, “faggot.”(...)
November 6, 2014
Congolese writer Alain Mabanckou discusses his work and how immigration to America impacted his writing.
December 16, 2014
Letter to Jimmy by Alain Mabanckou (Soft Skull Press)
Winner of several French literary prizes, Alain Mabanckou explores the impact of his literary antecedent James Baldwin and the challenges facing black writers--both U.S. citizens and expatriate Africans. (...)
Counterpunch (Ron Jacobs)
December 12, 2014
Alain Mabanckou’s 'letter to jimmy'
Love Letter From Paris
James Baldwin grew tired of the racism ingrained into life in the United States and moved to Paris. This provided him with a chance to see his native country even clearer. It also meant that his life in Europe would be different than that of his African expatriate cousins. This is one of the themes explored by author Alain Mabanckou in his recently released (in English) letter to jimmy (On the twentieth anniversary of your death). Written in the form of a letter addressed to Baldwin, the text is a personal rumination on Baldwin’s life and works. It is simultaneously compelling and profound in its approach. (...)
Killing the Buddha
December 12, 2014
Confession On Black Anti-Semitism
by Alain Mabanckou
In Harlem, black anti-Semitism is a reality. You decide to talk about it. The exercise is all the more delicate since by simply bringing up the topic you risk it flying back in your face like a boomerang. In his time, Karl Marx had been accused of anti-Semitism by his former teacher, Bruno Bauer, who had already drawn fire from all sides for having responded to the Jewish Question. Marx took up Bauer’s argument and asked whether they should be freed as a group before the general population. Although Bauer asserts with good reason that “we must free ourselves before freeing others,” Marx wonders to what extent freedom is possible in states that recognize the Declaration of the Rights of Man, but protect the idea of private ownership that allows owners to take advantage of their possessions in the most absolute way and, through such a power, to institute a system of exploitation to the detriment of society’s most destitute. (...)
Président du jury
40e Prix du Livre Inter
Président du Jury
Lauréate Céline Minard
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Lauréat Hubert Haddad
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