THE MOST SECRET MEMORY OF MEN, translated from the French by Lara Vergnaud

: Sarr (M.)

R 380.00
- +

475pp., paperback, First UK English Edition, London, 2024


First published in French as La plus secrète mémoire des hommes in 2021. First published in English as The Most Secret Memory of Men in the USA in 2023.

Winner of the Prix Goncourt 2021.

In 2018, Diégane Latyr Faye, a young Senegalese writer in Paris, discovers a legendary book from the 1930s, The Labyrinth of Inhumanity. No one knows what became of its author and Diégane decides to find out more about him.

"[The Most Secret Memory of Men] travels through space and time, from contemporary Paris to postwar Argentina to a Senegalese village. Besides the main narrator, a collection of voices complement one another to form an overall story, as one of the novel’s main goals is to put different realities and traditions ‘on the same level.’” New York Times

“I thought I’d come to terms with the spellbinding style of this young prodigy of Senegalese literature. That was until I came across his most luminous, vertiginous, and cerebral novel, The Most Secret Memory of Men. Sprinkled with flashes of rare purity, this is a high-flying reflection on the art of writing as well as the freedom and solitude it brings to the writer. Here comes an investigation about a cursed author, in which not one style, but many styles are woven together to give birth to a masterpiece of pure wonder. Sarr has written a political, funny, and sensual work of fiction that readers will devour like detective fiction with an esoteric flavor. It’s also a compelling journey into the dark pages of History, as well as to the heart of a question that lives in all those who can’t live without books: What can literature do while so many events constantly beset us?” Blaise Ndala, author of In the Belly of the Congo

Mohamed Mbougar Sarr was born in Dakar, Senegal, in 1990. He studied literature and philosophy at L’École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. Brotherhood, his first novel, won the Grand Prix du Roman Métis, the Prix Ahmadou-Kourouma, and the French Voices Grand Prize. The president of Senegal named him a Chevalier of the National Order of Merit.