Fiston Mwanza Mujila

Program FULL September 20 - October 10
Fiston Mwanza Mujila

Fiston Mwanza Mujila was born in 1981 in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, where he went to a Catholic school before studying Literature and Human Sciences at Lubumbashi University. He now lives in Graz, Austria and is pursuing a PhD in Romance Languages. His writing has been awarded with numerous prizes, including the Gold Medal at the 6th Jeux de la Francophonie in Beirut as well as the Best Text for Theater (“Preis für das beste Stück,” State Theater, Mainz) in 2010. His novel Tram 83 was a French Voices 2014 grant recipient.

His poems, prose works, and plays are reactions to the political turbulence that has come in the wake of the independence of the Congo and its effect on day-to-day life. As he describes in one of his poems, his texts describe a “geography of hunger:” hunger for peace, freedom, and bread. His texts have been published in the original French and in translation in many journals and anthologies in several European countries, and he has been performing at readings and festivals since 2002.

Fiston Mwanza Mujila will participate at the Brooklyn Book festival on September 20.

TRAM 83

Written by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Translated by Roland Glasser; to be published by Deep Vellum Publishing in September 2015.

Tram 83 is a gripping story that unfolds in the heart of an eclectic crowd which is gathered at the train station of an imaginary African country’s capital. Over the course of a breathtaking journey, Mujila reveals the power of literature against a postcolonial backdrop. Tram 83, whose story is well showcased by a fantastic translation, is funny and energetic.

This is Fiston Mwanza Mujila's first novel. It was first published in French in August 2014 as a lead title of the rentrée litteraire by Éditions Métailié. It has been shortlisted and won numerous literary prizes in France and Austria, and has been translated into six languages.

"Rapid and poetic, Mujila depicts a province where “every day is a pitched battle.” It’s a brutal landscape with regular blackouts and unreliable running water, where many hungry denizens hunt house pets and vermin for food with the same vigor they use to excavate diamonds and minerals. The central characters fight to change the paths laid before them, desperate to rebel against a fate imposed by life in a consumptive environment." - Publishers' Weekly, 07.24.2015

Bibliography

In English
Tram 83, translated by Roland Glasser, Deep Vellum Publishing, 2015

In French
Congo Eza, photographes de RDC, ouvrage collectif (25 photographes, 4 écrivains), Africalia Editions / Roularta Books, 2008.
Un corps vide dans Chroniques du Katanga, Editions Sépia, 2008.
Poèmes et rêvasseries de Poèmes de l’aube contractée, reconvertie et perpétrée dans l’arène des sépultures maudites… (initialement Prière aux dieux), Lingkua Ediciones (Espagne), 2009.
Nach dem Sturm, Leykam Verlag, 2010, Autriche.
Der Fluss im Bauch/ Le Fleuve dans le ventre, recueil de poésie, Editions Tannhäuseren, 2013.
Craquelures, L’Arbre à paroles, 2011, Belgique.
Funérailles d’Ignace d’Antrian, Centre-Wallonie Bruxelles de Kinshasa et les Archives et Musée de la Littérature à Bruxelles.
Tram 83, Editions Métaillé, 2014.
 


If you would like to invite this author to speak at your university or bookstore, please fill out the application form and email it to Marine Baudoin at marine.baudoin@diplomatie.gouv.fr