“The Most Secret Memory of Men” a Mystery Novel on Living and Writing
Title: The Most Secret Memory of Men
Author: Mohamed Mbougar Sarr
Translated by: Lara Vergnaud
Published by: Other Press, New York
A gripping fictional mystery, The Most Secret Memory of Men touches on the choice between living and writing, and the desire to transcend the divide between Africa and the West. This novel follows the investigation by Diégane Latyr Faye, a young Senegalese writer in Paris. After Diégane discovers a legendary book from the 1930s, The Labyrinth of Inhumanity, he decides to search for the lost author, T.C. Elimane. This leads him down a mysterious path that forces him to confront the great tragedies of history, from colonization to the Holocaust.
During his investigation, Diégane becomes part of a group of young African writers in Paris who talk, drink, make love, and philosophize about the role of exile in artistic creation. Along his journey, he grows close to two women: the seductive Siga, who holds many secrets, and the elusive photojournalist, Aïda.
“The Most Secret Memory of Men travels through space and time, from contemporary Paris to postwar Argentina to a Senegalese village…a collection of voices complement one another to form an overall story, as one of the novel’s main goals is to put different realities and traditions ‘on the same level.’” – New York Times
About the author:
Mohamed Mbougar Sarr was born in Dakar, Senegal in 1990. He studied literature and philosophy at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His first novel, Brotherhood, won the Grand Prix du Roman Métis, the Prix Ahmadou Kourouma, and the French Voices Grand Prize. Mohamed has also been honored by the president of Senegal, who named him a Chevalier of the National Order of Merit.