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Tierno Monénembo's latest novel

Tierno Monénembo: exile in the voice 

Guinean Tierno Monénembo is one of the most prominent literary figures in Africa. Wander and exile are at the core of his work. His new novel "Les coqs cubains chantent à minuit" (Cuban roosters sing at midnight) explores the roots of culture mixing in Cuba. 

 

From Africa to Cuba: a Guinean on the footsteps of Historytierno-monenembo 

The book is available in bookshops since January 8th. "Les Coqs cubains chantent à minuit" (Cuban roosters sing at midnight) will take you in the wake of Ignacio Rodriguez Aponte, an old Black man from Havana who earns a living by welcoming tourists in the airport. One day, he meets El Palenque, from Guinea, who came to Cuba to explore his roots. "We all come from Africa, but not at the same time or in the same boat." The writer spent three months in residence in Cuba to write his book, a genuine tribute to the African roots of Cuba.

 

From wander to journey: birth of a nomad writer 

Born in 1947 in Guinea, Tierno Monénembo fled Sékou Touré's dictatorship in the late 60s. This departure would be the first of many, which would forge the nomadic spirit of the writer. After having found shelter in Senegal, then Ivory Coast, he reaches France in 1973. He passes a doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Lyon. Then, he becomes a teacher in Morocco and Algeria. Throughout the years and writings, his feeling of exile slowly changed to a taste for journeys. The writer has changed his personal porous geography into the cornerstone of his work, published in the éditions du Seuil since his beginnings.

 

Two novels between France and Guinea photo_couv_monenembo_400

Skilful storyteller, Tierno Monénembo mixes History with fiction in order to explore themes like exile, wander and the search for one's own roots. Two of his novels ponder on the bonds between France and Guinea: "Le Roi de Kahel" (The king of Kahel) won the Renaudot Award in 2008 and "Le Terroriste noir" (The black terrorist) won the Erckmann-Chatrian Award and the Grand Prix du roman Métis. Both stories may be read as a mirror: the main character of the first leaves France and becomes an African historical figure. The other one, of African origin, will play a pivotal role in the French Resistance.