|Biographical detail : ||Ivory Coast novelist who spent much of his writing life in exile and challenged the colonial language of France.
Ahmadou was a remarkable African novelist writing in French – being the best-known African writer in France and an impressive array of 18 prizes to prove it. He used the language as he saw fit, and said what he wanted, irrespective of its syntax and other controls. His first novel, Le Soleil Des Indepandances (1968), translated as The Suns of Independence (1981), was set in two African countries, easily identifiable as the Ivory Coast and Guinea. The fiction, written in French and translated into several languages, was thinly veiled politics. An exceptional storyteller, who also wrote for children, Kourouma had a palpable love affair with words.
Ahmadou won, in 2000, the Prix Renaudot, which assured large sales, and in 1998 listeners to France Inter chose him as their writer of the year.
Ahmadou Kourouma was born into the Malinke tribe near Boundiali, in the northern Ivory Coast and was educated in Mali. A man of imposing stature, he served with the French army in Indo-China from 1950 to 1954. After leaving the army he went to France for higher studies, married a French woman and joined the Communist party. He died in Lyons, France.