The Blind Kingdom is an illuminating political allegory which resonates in many ways with the contemporary scene and current crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. This multi-layered narrative comprises a series of short stories and poetic texts threaded together that can be read across temporal and geographic boundaries both within and beyond continental Africa and the African Diaspora. This is a unique story about an African society on the brink of collapse yet, Tadjo envisions in her imaginary work, a new world where outrage and chaos generate hope and creativity. The Blind Kingdom explores multiple themes, issues and questions which are interwoven by Tadjo into a compelling narrative of love, independence and renewal.
Key Selling Points
• Véronique Tadjo is already well-known and recognized as the leading African Francophone writer of her generation.
• Tadjo’s literature fits into a wide range of college and university courses on African Studies, African American Studies, African-New World Studies, African/Black Women Writers, Women’s Studies and Francophone Literature in Translation.
• There is an increasing interest and demand in high schools, colleges and universities for literature written in French outside France and the opportunity it provides to promote multicultural understanding.
• The text includes a Translator’s Interview with the Author to further illuminate the text while simultaneously commenting on the envisioned timelessness of the novel.
About the Author
Véronique Tadjo was born of an Ivorian father and a French mother in Paris and brought up in Abidjan. She has a doctorate in African American Studies and has travelled extensively in West Africa, Europe, the United States and Latin America. She taught at the University of Abidjan, Ivory Coast for several years and has conducted many workshops on writing (and book illustration for children) in numerous countries. Her novel Reine Pokou (Queen Pokou) was awarded the prestigious literary Prize “Grand Prix Littéraire d’Afrique Noire” in 2005. She has been facilitating writing workshops for the Caine Prize for African Writing for several years. Tadjo currently lives in South Africa where she is Head of French Studies in the School of Literature and Language Studies, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
About the Translator
Janis A. Mayes is a professor of African/Diasporan Literatures and Cultural Studies in the Department of African American Studies at Syracuse University, USA. Her areas of specialization involve African and Caribbean literatures in French and English languages, Black women’s international writing and Translation Studies. A literary translator, her scholarship includes: The City Where No One Dies, translated from the French, La ville oú nul ne meurt by Bernard Dadié; Mapping Intersections: African Literature and Africa’s Development (edited with Anne V. Adams); Une Pluie de mots: Anthologie bilingue de la poésie féminine en Afrique Francophone/ A Rain of Words: Bilingual Anthology of Women’s Poetry in Francophone Africa (editor, Irène Assiba d”Almeida, forthcoming University of Virginia Press, 2008). A Fullbright scholar, Mayes has taught at the Université Nationale de Côte d’Ivoire (Abidjan) and Cheikh Anta Diop Université (Dakar). She is founding director of the SU/AAS study abroad program: Paris Noir: Literature, Art and Contemporary Life in Diaspora. Mayes is also past President of the African Literature Association (ALA).