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Tchicaya U Tam’si


Tchicaya U Tam’si was born Gérald-Félix Tchicaya in Mpili, near Brazzaville in 1931. His father was the first deputy to the Congolese French National Assembly. At fifteen he went to study in France. In 1955 he published his first poems. He adopted the pseudonym U Tam’si, which means who speaks for his country in Bantu. His father had planned for him to be a magistrate but he wanted to becone a writer. He returned to the Congo in 1960 to work for Patrice Lumumba but left again when Lumumba was assassinated. He is best known as a poet and is considered one of the leading African poets. He also wrote novels and plays. He died in 1988.

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Tchicaya U Tam’si
Tchicaya U Tam’si
Tchicaya U Tam’si (in French)
Connaissez-vous Tchicaya U Tam’si? (in French)


1955 Le Mauvais Sang (poetry)
1957 Feu de brousse (Brush Fire) (poetry)
1958 A triche-coeur (poetry)
1962 Épitomé (poetry)
1964 Le Ventre (poetry)
1967 Légendes africaines
1969 Selected Poems
1970 Arc musical (poetry)
1977 La veste d’intérieur : suivi de Notes de veille (poetry)
1977 Le Zulu, suivi de Vwène le fondateur (drama)
1978 Le Pain ou la Cendre (poetry)
1979 Le Destin glorieux du maréchal Nnikon Nniku, prince qu’on sort (The Glorious Destiny of Marshal Nnikon Nniku) (drama)
1980 La main sèche (stories)
1980 Les Cancrelats [The Cockroaches] (novel)
1982 Les Méduses (The Madman and the Medusa) (novel)
1984 Les Phalènes [The Moths] (novel)
1987 Le Bal de N’dinga (drama)
1987 Ces fruits si doux de l’arbre à pain (novel)
2013 J’étais nu pour le premier baiser de ma mère (poetry)