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The Belle of Casablanca (La Belle de Casa)

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Original Language: French | 208 pp. | August 2018

2 Seas Represents: Dutch, Nordic and North American rights.

Rights sold: Italy (66th and 2nd). Under option: Netherlands, US, Romania, Germany

LITERARY FICTION

One morning the beautiful Ichrak is found murdered in a street in Casablanca. All the men feared her as much as they desired her… In a city buffeted by the Chergui, a violent wind emanating from the Sahara, the investigation, which is narrated by a young Congolese man who has recently arrived in Morocco, becomes a prism through which a group portrait of a working-class district emerges.

Following on from Mathématiques congolaises and Congo Inc., In Koli Jean Bofane shifts his geographical focus to outline a vision that encompasses both North and sub-Saharan Africans: Africa is moving forward and is the equal of the other continents or, to put it another way, Africa is no better than they are.

In Koli Jean Bofane is a talented storyteller with a fine ear for dialogue who trains his razor-sharp observations of a bitter reality and his mordant humour on corruption among the powerful, shady property deals, the vulnerable situation of migrants and male sexual desire, and he succeeds in transforming a desperate contemporary reality into an engrossing and entertaining subject of fiction.

In Koli Jean Bofane was born in 1954 in Mbandaka (DRC) and currently lives in Brussels. Two of his novels have been published by Actes Sud: Mathématiques congolaises (2008, Prix Jean-Muno, Prix de la SCAM, Grand prix littéraire d’Afrique noire de l’ADELF) and Congo Inc., le testament de Bismarck (2014, Prix des cinq continents de la Francophonie, Prix coup de cœur Transfuge/MEET, Grand prix du roman métis, Prix littéraire des bibliothèques de la Ville de Bruxelles, Prix de l’Algue d’or).