Véronique Tadjo

Véronique Tadjo (Photograph by Rama, Wikimedia Commons, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr)On 21 July 1955, writer, poet, novelist, illustrator and academic Véronique Tadjo was born in Paris. Having lived and worked in many countries within the African continent and diaspora, she feels herself to be pan-African, in a way that is reflected in the subject matter, imagery and allusions of her work.

Born in Paris, Véronique Tadjo is the daughter of an Ivorian civil servant and a French painter and sculptor. Brought up in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, she travelled widely with her family. Tadjo completed her BA degree at the University of Abidjan and her doctorate at the Sorbonne in African-American Literature and Civilization. In 1983, she went to Howard University in Washington, D.C., on a Fulbright research scholarship.

In 1979, Tadjo chose to teach English at the Lycée Moderne de Korhogo (secondary school) in the North of Côte d'Ivoire. She subsequently became a lecturer in the English department at the University of Abidjan until 1993. In 1984, she published her first book of poetry, 'Latérite / Red Earth', winning a literary prize from the Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique. In 1998, she participated in the project 'Rwanda: Ecrire par devoir de mémoire' (Rwanda: Writing for the sake of memory) with a group of African writers who travelled to Rwanda to testify to the Rwandan genocide and its aftermath. Her book 'L'Ombre d'Imana' (2000) emerged from her time in Rwanda. In the past few years, she has facilitated workshops in writing and illustrating children's books in Mali, Benin, Chad, Haiti, Mauritius, French Guiana, Burundi, Rwanda, the United States, and South Africa. In 2006 she participated in the fall residency of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Tadjo has lived in Paris, Lagos, Mexico City, Nairobi and London. After 14 years in South Africa where she was Professor and head of French and Francophone Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (2007-2015), she now shares her time between London and Abidjan.

Tadjo received the Literary Prize of L'Agence de Cooperation Culturelle et Technique in 1983 and the UNICEF Prize in 1993 for 'Mamy Wata and the Monster', which was also chosen as one of Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century, one of only four children's books selected. In 2005, Tadjo won the Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire and in 2016 the Bernard Dadié national grand prize for literature. Her 2021 book 'In the Company of Men' won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Selected publications

Publications by Véronique Tadjo

Aimer selon Véronique Tadjo / Véronique Tadjo. - Plaissan : Editions Museo, [2021]

Le voyage de Yao / Véronique Tadjo. - [Paris] : Éditions du Seuil, [2019]

En compagnie des hommes / Véronique Tadjo. - Paris : Don Quichotte éditions, [2017]

Nelson Mandela : non à l'apartheid / Véronique Tadjo. - Abidjan : Éditions Éburnie, [2015]

Loin de mon père : roman / Véronique Tadjo. - Arles : Actes sud, cop. 2010

Reine Pokou : concerto pour un sacrifice / Véronique Tadjo. - .Arles : Actes sud, cop. 2004

The shadow of Imana : travels in the heart of Rwanda / Véronique Tadjo. - Johannesburg [etc.] : Heinemann, 2002

Publications about Véronique Tadjo and her work

Le roman féminin ivoirien / Moussa Coulibaly. - Paris : L'Harmattan, cop. 2015

Littérature féminine ivoirienne : une écriture plurielle / Viviane Gbadoua Uetto. - Paris : L'Harmattan, cop. 2013

See also Véronique Tadjo's website

Véronique Tadjo at the Library of Congress, 2014

Cote d'Ivoirean writer Véronique Tadjo read selections from her work and participated in a moderated discussion with the Library's Marieta Harper. 

Timeline of Ivorian poets via Wikidata and DBpedia