He began publishing poetry while working for the French water company Lyonnaise des Eaux, and he came to the United States in 2001 to teach francophone literature at the University of Michigan. These days he teaches French, francophone studies and comparative literature at UCLA in Los Angeles.
African Psycho's title reveals one of its influences: Brett Easton Ellis' American Psycho. (African Psycho is not a translated title. The book is also called that in its original French.) A borrowing like that reflects a sly sense of humor, a quality on ample display in the novel's opening pages.
The narrator, Gregoire, has decided to kill his girlfriend to make his mark in the world and to act in the spirit of the Great Master of crime Angoualima, "the most famous of our country's assassins." The country is not named, though there are several references to "the country over there" across the river. The grimness of Gregoire's task is mitigated by a humorous fussiness of his narration, a narration that stretches back to his beginnings in the neighborhood of He-Who-Drinks-Water-Is-An-Idiot, toward which he displays if not affection, then at least a certain resignation. He is a protagonist of interest, and I will report back with more news of him.
© Peter Rozovsky 2007