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Lecture by Fiston Mwanza Mujila
Fiston Mwanza Mujila, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), took the literary scene by storm in 2014. His novel Tram 83, translated into English by Deep Vellum Publishing in 2015, takes place in an unnamed African city in secession, where profit-seekers of all languages and nationalities mix. They have only one desire: to make a fortune by exploiting the mineral wealth of the land. Two friends, one a writer with literary ambitions visiting home from Europe, and his childhood friend, who dreams of taking over the seedy underworld of their hometown, gather in the only nightclub in town: Tram 83. Around them gravitate gangsters and young girls, soldiers and stowaways, profit-seeking tourists and federal agents of a non-existent State. Tram 83 plunges the reader into a modern African gold rush as cynical as it is comic and colorfully exotic. A daring feat of imagination, rhythm, and linguistic creativity Tram 83 uses jazz rhythms to weave a tale of human friendship in a world that has become a global village.