Fiston Mwanza Mujila was born in 1981 in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, where he went to a catholic school before studying Literature and Human Sciences at Lubumbashi University. He now lives in Graz, Austria and is pursuing a PHD in Romance Languages. His writing has been awarded with numerous prizes, including the Gold Medal at the 6th Jeux de la Francophonie in Beirut as well as the Best Text for Theater (“Preis für das beste Stück”, State Theater, Mainz) in 2010. His poems, prose works and plays are reactions to the political turbulence that has come in the wake of the independence of the Congo and its effect on day-to-day life. His texts describe, as he says in one of his poems, a “geography of hunger”: hunger for peace, freedom, and bread. His texts have been published in the original French and in translation in many journals and anthologies in several European countries, and he has been performing at readings and festivals since 2002. Tram 83, written in French and published in August 2014 as a lead title of the “rentrée litteraire” by Éditions Métailié, is his first novel. It has been shortlisted and won numerous literary prizes in France and Austria, and has been translated into eight languages.
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Two friends, one a budding writer home from Europe, the other an ambitious racketeer, meet in the only nightclub, the Tram 83, in a war-torn city-state in secession, surrounded by profit-seekers of all languages and nationalities. Tram 83 plunges the reader into the modern African gold rush as cynical as it is comic and colorfully exotic, using jazz rhythms to weave a tale of human relationships in a world that has become a global village.