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Looking for a good book to read while you're traveling in Senegal? Check out my list of books about Senegal and by Senegalese authors.

At Night All Blood Is Black

CATEGORIES: Classic/Culturally Significant

In this winner of numerous awards, including the prestigious International Booker Prize, a Senegalese tirailleur (a member of the French army’s colonial infantry) loses his close friend while fighting in World War I. Originally published in French as Frère d’âme (Soul Brother), the book was translated by poet Anna Moschovakis. Barack Obama chose the novel as one of his 2021 summer reads.


The Most Secret Memory of Men

Mohamed Mbougar Sarr
CATEGORIES: Classic/Culturally Significant

Sarr’s novel tells of a Senegalese writer living in Paris who discovers the manuscript of a forgotten writer, known in his time as the “black Rimbaud.” The story is a fictionalized version of the real-life story of Malian writer Yambo Ouologuem, who disappeared from public life after being accused of plagiarism. La plus secrète mémoire des hommes (the original French title) earned Sarr the Prix Goncourt in 2021, making him the first Sub-Saharan African — and one of the youngest writers ever — to be awarded the prestigious prize.

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