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Black Bazaar
Cover of Black Bazaar
Black Bazaar
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Finalist for the Man Booker International Prize 2015

Buttologist is down on his uppers. His girlfriend, Original Colour, has cleared out of their Paris studio and run off to the Congo with a vertically challenged drummer known as The Mongrel. She's taken their daughter with her. Meanwhile, a racist neighbour spies on him something wicked, accusing him of 'digging a hole in the Dole'. And his drinking buddies at Jips, the Afro-Cuban bar in Les Halles, pour scorn on Black Bazaar, the journal he keeps to log his sorrows. There are days when only the Arab in the corner shop has a kind word; while at night his dreams are stalked by the cannibal pygmies of Gabon. Then again, Buttologist wears no ordinary uppers. He has style, bags of it (suitcases of crocodile and anaconda Westons, to be precise). He's a dandy from the Bacongo district of Brazzaville - AKA a sapeur or member of the Society of Ambience-makers and People of Elegance. But is flaunting sartorial chic against tough times enough for Buttologist to cut it in the City of Light?

Finalist for the Man Booker International Prize 2015

Buttologist is down on his uppers. His girlfriend, Original Colour, has cleared out of their Paris studio and run off to the Congo with a vertically challenged drummer known as The Mongrel. She's taken their daughter with her. Meanwhile, a racist neighbour spies on him something wicked, accusing him of 'digging a hole in the Dole'. And his drinking buddies at Jips, the Afro-Cuban bar in Les Halles, pour scorn on Black Bazaar, the journal he keeps to log his sorrows. There are days when only the Arab in the corner shop has a kind word; while at night his dreams are stalked by the cannibal pygmies of Gabon. Then again, Buttologist wears no ordinary uppers. He has style, bags of it (suitcases of crocodile and anaconda Westons, to be precise). He's a dandy from the Bacongo district of Brazzaville - AKA a sapeur or member of the Society of Ambience-makers and People of Elegance. But is flaunting sartorial chic against tough times enough for Buttologist to cut it in the City of Light?

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About the Author-
  • Alain Mabanckou was born in 1966 in the Congo. He currently lives in LA, where he teaches literature at UCLA. He is the author of six volumes of poetry and six novels. He is the winner of the Grand Prix de la Littérature 2012, and has received the Subsaharan African Literature Prize and the Prix Renaudot. He was selected by the French journal Lire as one of the fifty writers to watch out for this coming century. His previous books include African Psycho (9781846686412), Broken Glass (9781846688157), Memoirs of a Porcupine (9781846687686) and Black Bazaar(9781846687778). In 2015 he was listed as a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize.
    http://www.alainmabanckou.com/

Reviews-
  • Morning Star

    Hugely entertaining ... Mabanckou creates a vivid picture of this expat community and their at times love-hate relationship with the colonial mother country and the fraught contemporary politics of West Africa ... an enjoyable and insightful read from one of France's outstanding writers

  • Harriett Gilbert

    Energetic, terrifically powerful writing

  • Financial Times

    Captures the particular flavour of modern Paris

  • Independent

    Features an array of unforgettable characters ... Mabanckou writes with real joie de vivre and paints a vivid, poignant portrait of the black immigrant community in Paris

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Alain Mabanckou
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