Reading Group

Book Discussion: Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila

The Power Plant and Toronto’s African Literature Book Club jointly present a book discussion of Congolese author Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s debut novel, Tram 83. Tour Sammy Baloji's exhibition Urban Now: City Life in Congo, then discuss the novel which, Mujila said, aimed “to be able to represent a form of exploitation and neocolonialism that happens throughout Africa, not just in the Congo.” From the book’s back cover: "In an unnamed African city in secession, 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: Lucien, a writer with literary ambitions home from abroad, and his childhood friend Requiem, who dreams of taking over the seedy underworld of their hometown, gather in the most notorious nightclub in town: the Tram 83. … A daring feat of narrative imagination and linguistic creativity, Tram 83 uses the rhythms of jazz to weave a tale of human relationships in a world that has become a global village."

Mujila (born 1981 in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo) was awarded the gold medal for literature for his text The Night at the 2009 Francophone Games in Lebanon. Tram 83, his first full-length novel, was on the long-list for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, and was awarded both the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature for Debut African Fiction and the Grand Prix of Literary Associations (Belles-Lettres Category). Mujila lives in Graz, Austria where he is pursuing a PhD in Romance Languages.