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Boubacar Boris Diop

Born in 1946 in Dakar, Senegalese novelist, journalist and essayist Boubacar Boris Diop has established himself today as one of the most prominent contemporary Francophone writers. The Knight and His Shadow, published last January by Michigan University Press, is his second book translated in English, after Murambi, the Book of Bones, which stems from his stay in Kigali, Rwanda, in 1998, four years after the massacres.

After working in several Senegalese newspapers, such as Le Matin de Dakar, an independent daily newspaper he once ran, he continues to write for the foreign press, including the Swiss magazine Neue Zürcher Zeitung and the Paris-based Afrique, perspectives et réalités.

In the years following the 1994 genocide, he was invited—along with nine other francophone African authors such as Véronique Tadjo (Ivory Coast) and Tierno Monénembo (Guinea)—by the African literature festival “Fest’Africa” to take up residence at a Writer House in Kigali, as part of the Duty of Memory Project. From this striking experience, Boubacar Boris Diop wrote his most celebrated book, Murambi, the Book of Bones, first published in France in 2000. Coming face to face with the chilling horror and overwhelming sadness of the Rwandan tragedy, Diop chose to blend the voices of the genocide victims with the ones of the persecutors. Murambi, The Book of Bones was finally nominated to the Zimbabwe International Book Fair’s list of Africa’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century.

Politically involved, including in Senegal where he was a counselor for the Senegalese cultural minister, he is the author of several essays, but also of many other novels, plays and screenplays. He was awarded the Senegalese Republic Grand Prize in 1990 for Les Tambours de la mémoire, as well as the Prix Tropiques for The Knight and His Shadow, first published in France in 1997. Boubacar Boris Diop also wrote one of the only novels ever written in Wolof, a Sub-Saharan African language. Doomi Golo was published in Dakar in 2006.

Following the footsteps of the past, his highly varied work combines political thoughts and a real literary originality, served by a rousing prose. Boubacar Boris Diop will be in New York City for the 2015 edition of the PEN World Voices Festival, which will take place from May 4th to May 10th.



In French.

Le Temps de Tamango, L’Harmattan, 1981.  Republished by Le Serpent à Plumes, 2002.
Les Tambours de la mémoire, L’Harmattan, 1990.
Les Traces de la meute, Paris, L’Harmattan, 1993.
Le Cavalier et son ombre, Stock, 1997.
Murambi, le livre des ossements, Stock, 2000. Republished by Zulma, 2011.
L’Impossible Innocence, Éditions Philippe Rey, 2004.
Kaveena, Éditions Philippe Rey, 2006.
Les Petits de la guenon, Éditions Philippe Rey, 2009 (translation of Doomi Golo from Wolof by Boubacar Boris Diop).

Thiaroye, terre rouge, L’Harmattan, 1990

Négrophobie, with Odile Tobner and François-Xavier Verschave, Les Arènes, 2005.
L'Afrique au-delà du miroir, Éditions Philippe Rey, 2007.
La Gloire des imposteurs : Lettres sur le Mali et l'Afrique, with Aminata Dramane Traoré, Éditions Philippe Rey, 2014.

In English.
Murambi, the Book of Bones, Indiana University Press, 2006.
The Knight and His Shadow, Michigan University Press, 2015.

In Wolof.
Doomi Golo, Papyrus, 2003.