Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujilla
The multiple award-winning debut novel and international phenomenon, longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize.
Translated from the French by Roland Glasser
In a war-torn African city-state tourists of all languages and nationalities converge with students, ex-pats and locals. They have only one desire: to make a fortune by exploiting the wealth of the country, both mineral and human. As soon as night falls, they go out to get drunk, dance, eat and abandon themselves in Tram 83, the only night-club of the city, the den of all iniquities.
Lucien, a professional writer, fleeing the exactions and the censorship, of the Back- Country, finds refuge in the city thanks to Requiem, a friend. Requiem lives mainly on theft and on swindle while Lucien only thinks of writing and living honestly. Around them gravitate gangsters and young girls, retired or runaway men, profit- seeking tourists and federal agents of a non-existent State.
Tram 83 plunges the reader into the atmosphere of a gold rush as cynical as it is comic and colourfully exotic. It's an observation of human relationships in a world that has become a global village, an African-rhapsody novel hammered by rhythms of jazz.