Edwige-Renée Dro

About the Author Edwige-Renée Dro

Edwige-Renée Dro is an Ivorian writer and a translator. She is one of the 39 most promising voices under 40 from Africa, south of the Sahara as decided by the Africa39 project. She was the 2015 PEN International New Voices award judge and also the translator of the winning story, Moon Dog. She is one of this year’s Etisalat Prize for Literature judges. Edwige-Renée currently works as the director of Danbé Collection, a new imprint of l’Harmattan Editions with a focus on finding the next generation of Ivorian writers. Her passion is for the bridging of the gap between francophone and anglophone Africa where literature is concerned. To that end, she has participated in many literary ventures on the continent like translating The Upright Revolution by Ngugi wa Thiong’o for the Jalada Translation issue and organising the first Writivism workshop in Abidjan 2016. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and literary journals like the Africa39 by Bloomsbury, Prufrock, the Ankara Press Valentine’s Day anthology, Jalada, etc. She is now at work on her first novel and a collection of short stories

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Ahmadou Kourouma – portrait of a literary giant

If, in the English-speaking world, he is (mostly) known to university students reading African literature, in the francophone world Ahmadou Kourouma is a literary giant. This is a feat he managed not by producing a lot of writings – the writer, who died in 2003 at the age of 76 in exile in Lyon, wrote six novels, and unlike most writers of his generation, did not engage in writing numerous essays or opinion pieces. Kourouma was that writer who let his books express what he felt. On the anniversary of his death on 11 December 2003, This Is Africa brings you a portrait of the Ivorian literary giant whose unique writing style is unrivalled in his native country.

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Where is Ivorian literature really at?

The contemporary literature scene in Côte d’Ivoire consists of mostly university professor-writers who snub books that do not come from within their circle. This, added to the already insular state of writing and publishing houses being described as “manuscript graveyards”, paints a bleak picture for Ivorian literature. Nevertheless, a younger generation is working on alternatives and breaking the barriers of this insularity.