FLAM: Congolese Writer Advocates Reading as Essential for Cultivating Young African Writers’ Talent

In a statement to MAP news agency on the sidelines of the second edition of the Marrakech African Book Festival (FLAM), Mabanckou offered several pieces of advice to young people aspiring to become writers or novelists. He emphasized the role of reading as an essential initial phase that opens doors to other books before progressing to the imitation phase and eventually to creative autonomy.

The Congolese writer also stressed the importance of revisiting childhood for inspiration, noting that “childhood is a very important phase in the career of any writer.”

“When you are writing a novel, the most important characters are not the main characters but the secondary characters and everything around them, because it is the secondary characters who carry it, which is why it’s important to take the time to choose these characters,” he pointed out.

As a professor at the University of Los Angeles, he also advised young African writers to explore various literary works and not restrict themselves to African literature.

Reading is an essential and crucial element in developing the talent of young African writers, according to Congolese writer Alain Mabanckou.
11 February 2024