Alain Mabanckou

(3345 words)
  • Katelyn Knox (University of California, Los Angeles)

As the title to his book-length essay Écrivain et oiseau migrateur (2011) [Writer and Migratory Bird] signals, Alain Mabanckou’s travel experiences—from the fictional journeys he took through the literary works that fascinated him as a child, to those that led him from the Congo to France to the United States as he pursued his studies and literary career—have simultaneously allowed him to gain critical distance on his own culture, and prompted him to reflect on questions of belonging, cultural circulation, history, and identity. Born in 1966 in the Republic of the Congo (which he often refers to as “the little Congo”, lest any interlocutor confuse it with its larger neighbour, the Democratic Republic of the …

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Knox, Katelyn. "Alain Mabanckou". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 April 2013
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]