Days Come and Go: A Conversation with Hemley Boum

Date: 04 Feb 2023, 12:00pm - 1:00pm (GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Join the Alliance Française de Seattle, in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company, for an online discussion with author Hemley Boum, who will discuss her latest book Days Come and Go, translated by Nchanji Njamnsi. Nkiacha Atemnkeng, a writer and music enthusiast from Cameroon, will moderate this virtual interview, which will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

Free event, in English, RSVP mandatory (Please RSVP at the bottom of this page).
This event takes place online via Zoom.


Hemley Boum is the author of four novels, including Les Maquisards, which received the Grand prix littéraire de l’Afrique Noire, and Days Come and Go (Les jours viennent et passent), winner of the Prix Amadou Kourouma, which has been translated into both German and Dutch. She regularly publishes articles in Jeune Afrique, Le Point Afrique and Le Monde Afrique, and speaks at colloquia, universities, and literary festivals. Hemley has conducted masterclasses in France, Réunion, Cameroon, and Congo, and since 2019 she has been involved in “La Fabrique de Souza”, a series of literary salons in Douala, Cameroon. Hemley was born in Cameroon, where she studied anthropology before relocating to Lille, France, to study international trade. She currently lives in Paris, France.


For readers of Yaa Gyasi and Imbolo Mbue, this English-language debut of a major African writer dazzles as it devastates, offering an intimate look at three generations of a Cameroonian village as its people attempt to make sense of an inherited past and the complexities of belonging.

Chronicling the beauty and turmoil of a rapidly changing Cameroon, Days Come and Go is the remarkable story of three generations of women both within and beyond its borders. Through the voices of Anna, a matriarch living out her final days in Paris; Abi, Anna’s thoroughly European daughter (at least in her mother’s eyes); and Tina, a teenager who comes under the sway of a militant terrorist faction, Boum’s epic is generous and all-seeing. Brilliantly considering the many issues that dominate her characters’ lives—love and politics, tradition and modernity—Days Come and Go, in Nchanji Njamnsi’s vivid translation, is a page-turner by way of Frantz Fanon and V. S. Naipaul. As passions rise, fall, and rise again, Boum's stirring English-language debut offers a discerning portrait of a nation that never once diminishes the power of everyday human connection.



Nchanji Njamnsi is a translator from Cameroon who has been translating since 2012. He is passionate about the role literary translation should play in intercultural communication. He previously co-translated a short story featured in Your Feet Will Lead You Where Your Heart Is, a bilingual anthology published in 2020. 


Nkiacha Atemnkeng is a writer from Cameroon. His work was published in the 2015 Caine Prize anthology Lusaka Punk and Other StoriesHotel Africa: New Short Fiction from AfricaOf Passion and Ink: New Voices from Cameroon by Bakwa Books, as well as The Africa ReportThis Is AfricaThe Johannesburg Review of BooksThe Guardian LongreadLongreadsPorter House Review, among others. He is a Goethe Institut/Sylt Foundation writing residency winner, and a 2021 Art Omi fellow in New York. Nkiacha Atemnkeng earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University, where he is currently employed as a faculty member teaching College writing courses.

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