Alain Mabanckou is a Franco-Congolese writer and teacher born in 1966 in Pointe-Noire (Congo Brazzaville). He trained in law and worked for the Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux Group for ten years, before turning to writing. His first novel, Bleu-Blanc-Rouge (Présence africaine, 1998, Blue-White-Red, Indiana University Press, 2013), was awarded the Grand Prix Littéraire d’Afrique Noire.
He has been lecturing in Francophone literature at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) since 2006. He is based between Santa Monica and Paris and is the author of a number of novels, including Mémoires de porc-épic (Seuil, 2007), for which he was awarded the Prix Renaudot in 2006, and Black Bazar (Seuil, 2009), a best-seller. His entire work was honored by the Académie Française in 2012 and he entered the Collège de France in March 2016, as holder of the Chair in “Artistic Creation”.