Alain Mabanckou was born in 1966 in the Congo. He currently lives in California, where he teaches literature at UCLA. One of Africa’s major writers, he is the author of six volumes of poetry and six novels. He received the Subsaharan African Literature Prize for Blue-White-Red, and the Prix Renaudot for Memoirs of a Porcupine. He was selected by the French journal Lire as one of the fifty writers to watch out for this coming century.