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Wilfried N'Sondé - Mexique
© DR

The author Wilfried N’Sondé returns from a Mexican tour with the French Institute of Latin America!



The Institut Français d´Amérique Latine (French Institute of Latin America, IFAL) in Mexico was delighted to invite the author Wilfried N’Sondé on a tour of Mexico to mark the release of his latest book, One Ocean, Two Seas, Three Continents, published in Mexico by Elefanta Editorial.

This publication had received support from the Institut français’ and IFAL’s Publication Assistance Programme in connection with the Africa 2020 season, but the Mexican release had been postponed due to the pandemic.

Updated on 29/09/2022

2 min

For Wilfried N’Sondé, this was by no means a relaxing first trip to Mexico, with 12 speaking engagements over 13 days in 5 cities across 3 Mexican states. He was able to present his book at the Hay Festival in Querétaro, then in Mexico City at the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM)’s Librofest, where France was the guest country of honour. 

He also appeared at the IFAL Casa de Francia in dialogue with the author Jean-Baptiste del Amo, who was also in Mexico to present The Son of Man, which allowed us to compare two very different yet equally interesting perspectives on literature and the world. 

Finally, book launches were organised at Librería Vasconcelos, an emblematic Mexico City venue, and at the port of Veracruz and in Xalapa, where Wilfried was honoured by the city! 

Wildried N'Sondé - Yanga
© DR
Wilfried N'Sondé à Yanga, dans l'état du Veracruz.

Despite the intense pace of this literary marathon, the Congo (or, as he likes to point out, Kingdom of Kongo) -born French author left with the impression of having opened doors to both the past and the future.

To the past first of all, as his novel is based on the true story of Nsaku Ne Vunda, the first African ambassador to the Vatican in the 17th century, a forgotten chapter in history that the Mexican public were able to discover.

The past of the slave trade, too, which Wilfried confronted when he visited Yanga in the state of Veracruz, a village founded by freed slaves and the historical and cultural birthplace of the Afro-Mexicans.

Wilfried N'Sondé - Xalapa (Mexique) © DR
Wilfried N'Sondé - Hay Festival de Querétaro (Mexique) © DR

However, Wilfried’s visit was above all an opportunity to look to the future, represented most keenly by a young generation of readers, whom he was able to meet thanks to the valuable support of his Mexican publisher, with 4 visits to different secondary schools in Mexico City neighbourhoods. These energetic, enthusiastic pupils were lucky enough to each receive a copy of the book from UNAM, the country’s largest university. 

There is also a focus on the future as the success of this tour paves the way for others, and will have the positive effect of putting his name on the map of other French-speaking authors in Mexico, as well as encouraging Mexican publishers to take an interest in French authors, of whom there are still relatively few to be published in Mexico, with Spanish publishers very often the gateway to the Latin American market. 

L'institut français, LAB