Renowned French poet, novelist to speak at UH
The Department of Modern and Classical Languages welcomes award-winning French novelist and professor Alain Mabanckou to UH at 4 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Honors College Commons of the MD Anderson Library. He will speak in conversation with instructional assistant professor of French Julie Tolliver about his novels.
Alain Mabanckou is considered one of the most talented and prolific writers in the French language today. Mabanckou was born in the Republic of the Congo and is currently a professor of French and Francophone Studies at UCLA. His 2006 novel, “Memoirs of a Porcupine,” won him the distinguished Prix Renaudot, one of the highest distinctions in French literature. His novels are published in more than fifteen languages, and in 2012 the Académie Française awarded him the Grand Prix de Littérature.
“His interview… will center around the subjects he has written about in his numerous novels and essay collections,” Tolliver said.
“His latest book, ‘Lumières de Pointe-Noire’ (2014), tells the story of his return to his native city of Pointe-Noire in the Congo after 23 years of absence. It deals with the issues of identity, immigration, integration in a ‘new’ society and re-integration into the ‘old’ society after returning home.”
The talk will touch on various subjects such as Africa, specifically Central Africa and the Republic of Congo, France and French culture, the Francophone world, creative writing, race and ethnicity, the questions of immigration, identity, the law, and comparisons between France and the USA.
“Mabanckou’s importance and fame in the world of French-language literature is tremendous — he has won numerous awards, he has traveled to all sorts of conferences, he has been a jury member for many literary awards,” Tolliver said.