tierno-monnemboTIERNO DIALLO SAÏDOU MONÉNEMBO, generally known as Tierno Monénembo, is a Francophone novelist and biochemist born in Porédaka, Guinea. In 1969, he fled to neighbouring Senegal on foot, to escape the dictatorship of Ahmed Sékou Touré. He then went to the Ivory Coast to pursue his studies. In 1973, he left for France, where he obtained a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Lyon. Thereafter, he went on to teach in Algeria and Morocco. 

Monénembo published his first novel in 1979. His novels often reflect his own experiences or are based on the history of the Fulani people. 

The author of nine books, Monénembo was awarded the 2008 prix Renaudot for Le Roi de Kahel. This award put a spotlight on the increasing number of French writers of African origin that occupy a space in Francophone literature. In 2010, the book’s English translation, The King of Kahel was published by Amazon Crossing, the arm of Amazon.com which publishes translated fiction. It was the first book to be translated and published by the new company. 

Monénembo was one of the African authors invited to Rwanda following the 1994 Hutu-Tutsi massacre to “write genocide into history”. From this came the novel L’Aîné des orphelins (2000). Its English title, The Oldest Orphan, was released in 2004. 

Le terroriste noir, published in 2012, retells a true story of Addi Bâ, a young Guinean who had been brought to France to work before the war. Monénembo was awarded the prix Erckmann-Chatrian for Le terroriste noir. The book was also awarded the Grand prix Palatine and prix Ahmadou-Kourouma the following year. 

Since 2007, Monénembo has been a visiting professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, United States. 

 

Selected Bibliography

Le Roi de Kahel (The King of Kahel), Éditions du Seuil, 2008

Troipiques Price Fulani, Éditions du Seuil, 2004

L’Aîné des orphelins (The Elder Orphan), Éditions du Seuil, 2000

Cinéma, Éditions du Seuil, 1997

Pelourinho, Éditions du Seuil, 1995