Logo of Man Booker International PrizeAlain Mabanckou - Finalists' list of The Man Booker International Prize 2015

The Man Booker International Prize 2015 Finalists’ List Announced
Ten writers are on the judges’ list of finalists under serious consideration for the sixth Man Booker International Prize, the £60,000 award which recognises one writer for his or her achievement in fiction.
The authors come from ten countries with six new nationalities included on the list for the first time. They are from Libya, Mozambique, Guadeloupe, Hungary, South Africa and Congo None of the writers has appeared on a previous Man Booker International Prize list of finalists.
The proportion of writers translated into English is greater than ever before at 80%.
The finalists’ list is announced by the chair of judges, Professor Marina Warner, at a press conference hosted at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, today, Tuesday 24 March 2015.
Logo of Man Booker International Prize The ten authors on the list are:
César Aira (Argentina)
Hoda Barakat (Lebanon)
Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe)
Mia Couto (Mozambique)
Amitav Ghosh (India)
Fanny Howe (United States of America)
Ibrahim al-Koni (Libya)
László Krasznahorkai (Hungary)
Alain Mabanckou (Republic of Congo)
Marlene van Niekerk (South Africa)



Letter to Jimmy - Édition Soft Skull PressLetter 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 GuineaAlain 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.


Logo of Mail & Guardian AfricaMail & Guardian Africa
December 2014

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 (...)

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Logo of The French Embassy in the U.S.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)
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 (...)

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The TIA 100 – Best BooksThe 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 (...)

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Alain Mabanckou - Photo de Caroline BlacheAlain 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. (...)





Logo of The Huffington PostThe 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. (...)

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Logo of The Daily BeastThe Daily Beast
(Alain Mabanckou)
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.”(...)

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Logo of Publishing PerspectivesPublishing Perspectives
(Dennis Abrams)
November 6, 2014

Congolese writer Alain Mabanckou discusses his work and how immigration to America impacted his writing.


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Logo of Shelf AwarenessShelf Awareness
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. (...)

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Logo of CounterpunchCounterpunch (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. (...)

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Logo of Killing the BuddhaKilling 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. (...)

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Président du jury

40e Prix du Livre Inter

Alain Mabanckou
Président du Jury

Alain Mabanckou, Président du Prix du Livre Inter

Lauréate Céline Minard

Faillir être flingué, Rivages

40e Prix du Livre Inter


Prix Océans France Ô

Alain Mabanckou
Président du Jury

Alain Mabanckou, Président du Prix Océans France Ô du livre

Lauréat Hubert Haddad

Le Peintre d’éventail, Zulma

Prix Océans France Ô
du livre


Foire du livre de Brive

Alain Mabanckou
président de la 32e Foire
du livre de Brive

Alain Mabanckou, Président de la 32e Foire du livre de Brive

Foire du livre de Brive

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