Home LITERATURE IVORY COAST – “There is always a benefit to reading a book!”...

IVORY COAST – “There is always a benefit to reading a book!” Guennaro Dagauh , writer, author of “Emy, in the torments of love”

Guennaro Dagauh Écrivain

Ivoirien d’une trentaine d’années, né à Yamoussoukro d’une mère institutrice dans une école publique, il a passé une grande partie de sa vie dans cette ville du centre de la Côte d’Ivoire. Après le bac, il a poursuivi ses études à l’Université de Cocody (aujourd’hui Félix Houphouët Boigny), à Abidjan. Elle a vécu au Campus qui est le principal théâtre de son roman : « Emy ». Aujourd’hui, il vit à Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Espagne), où il prépare un doctorat en relations internationales.

Born in Yamoussoukro to a mother who teaches in a public school, Ivorian, he spent a large part of his life in this city in central Côte d’Ivoire. After graduating, he continued his studies at the University of Cocody (today Félix Houphouët Boigny), in Abidjan. She lived at the Campus which is the main theatre of her novel: «Emy». Today, he lives in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), where he is studying for a doctorate in international relations.

How did you come to love books?
Already from my mother, a teacher, who herself loves reading. She forced me and my brothers to read while she was doing her cards. At the beginning, they were simple children’s books, such as “Les livres du soleil”, and then, growing up, novels, collections of short stories, etc. In fact, I think that was her way of forcing us to keep quiet. She made me love books.

What are the books that have marked you?
Well already, one of the first books I read was «La belle Tella» by N’dikebie. Then there was «Climbié» by Bernard Dadie and especially «Les frasques d’Ebinto» by Amadou Koné and «Le prix de la révolte» by Regina Yaou. I also like French literature. Authors such as Molière «Les fourberies de Scapin» or «Le malade imaginaire» or Zola in «J’accuse» and especially Jules Vernes whose books I have read almost all. «Harry Potter» by J. K. Rawlings also had a big impact on me. But I think that one of my favorite authors remains Isaïe Biton Coulibaly. I love the conception of romantic relationships as described in his books. It breaks the «Fairy Tales» style of «sanitized» romantic relationships, very common today. Next to him is Charles Baudelaire but unlike Coulibaly, my knowledge of Baudelaire is unfortunately limited to his collection «Les fleurs du mal». Despite everything, this work had a lot of effect on me.

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“Emy, dans les tourments de l’amour”

When did you feel the need to write?
Very early! Already in high school, in first class, I had started to write a collection of poetry that I had titled «Those that fascinate me», inspired by that of Baudelaire, «Les fleurs du mal». Basically sad and morose poems. I remember that once in my senior year, my French teacher, Issouf Traoré, had caught me scribbling in the notebook where I annotated my poems while he was teaching, had snatched it from me and read it to the whole class. I felt a mixture of pride and shame at the same time. And to the teacher’s question as to whether I wanted to be a writer, I said yes, and he said in a mocking tone, “Then you should take the literature classes more seriously,” adding that he found my poem interesting.

What was the click?
The click came from my meeting with a special person who is a writer who told me that I had “storytelling skills” and advised me to try literature. After much hesitation, in 2014, I started writing the novel «Emy». She read it before encouraging me to try to get it published. Once again, after much hesitation, I finally sent the project to Ceddo Édition, which agreed to publish it.

Why should we read your novel “Emy”?
First of all, I think it’s to find out what’s inside. (I’m really bad at marketing!) More seriously, I think it’s a beautiful story that deserves to be discovered. It is certainly a fiction, but I believe it could be used as a teaching especially for teenagers. A bit like tales in our traditional societies or allegories of ancient Greece. There is always a benefit to reading a book!

Where can we get it?
It can be obtained from the Ceddo Editions publishing house or from the Carrefour Siloé bookstore located in Cocody Saint Jean.

You got a word for the readers?
To the readers, I would just like to say that I sincerely hope that they will enjoy the book and that it will bring them a lot of knowledge even if it is only a work of fiction. And especially that they can bring me feedback via social networks.


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