(Congo-Brazzaville, 1966) is one of the best-known Franco-African writers. In novels such as Verre cassé, African Psycho and Black Bazaar he sketches his African youth and the life of the African inhabitants of Paris, the city where he went to study in 1989. In 2012 he returned to his birthplace Pointe-Noire. His novel Petit Piment (Little Pepper, 2015) resulted from that trip. He very humorously describes the life of a boy who flees an orphanage to move to the coastal City of Pointe-Noire, where he lives among thieves and whores. The novel is dedicated to the boys of the Côte Sauvage, the edge of that city, with whom the author spoke. Mabanckou teaches French literature at the University of California Los Angeles. His work has been translated into more than ten languages.(2017)
Archive available for: Alain Mabanckou
Writers talks about their favourite book - the book that inspires or moves them; the book that formed their aristic, moral or intellectual compass; the book that they would recommend to anyone.
A unique opportunity to meet two international literary stars and hear about their books, which have recently become available in the Netherlands. Lisa Weeda, writer and professor at ArtEZ School for the Arts, goes one on one for a half hour each with Nino Haratischwili (Germany/Georgia) and Alain Mabanckou (Republic of Congo) about their motivation to write, the source of their characters, and the worldwide success of their books.
Haratischwili had an international breakthrough in 2014 with The Eighth Life (for Brilka). In this award-winning, 1300-page epic, the Hamburg-based Georgian writer tells the story of the fictitious Georgian Jasji family.
The lastest book by Congolese novelist Mabanckou is Petit Piment, translated into English in 2017 with the title Black Moses. It humorously describes the life of a boy who escapes the strict regime of an orphanage to move to the coastal city of Pointe-Noire, where he lives among thieves and whores.
The Congolese novelist and essayist Alain Mabanckou opens Friday Night Unlimited with a lecture about the values of the French Revolution and their meaning in our time.
Afterwards, writer and essayist Stephan Sanders has conversations with Alain Mabanckou, with historian and political philosopher Luuk van Middelaar and writer Louise O. Fresco about the contemporary meaning of freedom as a driving force of European democracy.
What is the meaning of the French Revolution's motto in today's Europe? For the revolutionaries, freedom stood for much more than individual aims. it stood for the collective longing for self-determination and for the democratic consideration and manifestation of change and progress. Is anything left of the revolutionary meaning of freedom in contemporary Europe?
Alternating with the conversations there will be live drawing by visual artist en book illustrator Gerda Dendooven (Belgium) and music by classical accordionist Oleg Lysenko (Netherlands), cello player Jole De Baerdemaeker and soprano Elisabeth Sturtewagen (both Belgium).