Boubacar Boris Diop is a Senegalese national. He is an award-winning author and one of today’s most prominent African novelists, short fiction writers, playwrights, and essayists. He is currently a columnist at the Senegalese Seneplus.
His most celebrated novel Murambi, the Book of Bones (2006), originally published in French in 2000, is a fictional story inspired by Diop’s stay in Kigali, Rwanda, in 1998. In the years following the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, he and eight other Francophone African authors were invited by the literary festival “Fest’Africa” to take up residence at a writer’s house in Kigali to participate in the Duty of Memory Project. Deeply influenced by what he had learned of the genocide against the Tutsi of Rwanda, Diop’s novel blended the voices of genocide victims with those of the perpetrators. Murambi, The Book of Bones has since been listed by the Zimbabwe International Book Fair’s Africa’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century and has won the 2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.
Beyond his writing in French, however, Diop is also passionate about promoting literatures in Wolof. Now available in English and Spanish, Doomi Golo, was originally published in Wolof in Dakar in 2003 and translated six years later by the author himself into French. He also translated into Wolof Aimé Césaire’s A Season in the Congo.
In 2016, Boubacar Boris Diop founded Ejo Editions, a publishing house specialized in literature written in Senegalese national languages, which published his most recent work, Malaanum lëndëm (2022) and Bàmmeelu Kocc Barma (2017) written in Wolof.
Since 2016, Ejo Editions has also published novels, poetry and historical essays representing a turning point in the rise of a Senegalese national literature in African languages. As part of this historical event, Diop and Ejo Editions founded Lu defu waxu, the first and only online weekly newspaper in Wolof. Additionally, with a group of scholars, educators and cultural activists, Diop developed an online language school offering courses in Wolof to professors and students from the Cheikh Anta Diop Foundation, the Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire, the School of Librarians, Archivistes, as well as journalists.