Meeting up with Grégoire Nguedi, author of the fascinating novel LES OMBRES OPPRESSANTES
Flashmag literature page welcomes this month an African writer. An Accountant whose words are not counted, when it comes to creative writing. Author of three fiction novels La Destinée de Baliama (2010), Voyage entre Ciel et Terre (2012) and Coup de Foudre à Bouraka (2014), the Cameroonian writer has published a fourth novel, LES OMBRES OPPRESSANTES, a remarkable thriller that exhumes the reader inner question about himself and the choices he makes.
Flashmag and its readers highly welcome you once more. We remember a couple of years ago, you were at this same place with your very deep and realistic novel about African Migrants Voyage entre Ciel et Terre. Today you’re here with another enriching and stunning work. It is the fourth book that your soul offers to libraries, schools, bookshops, houses and more. You’re a very inspired author!
Greg, what fuels your genie?
Our environment is the genie. The universe is permanently sharing its emotions. We only have to open up our souls and get connected.
You graduated as an Accountant. How do you manage to focus on all that? How do you manage to free space to keep your passion alive?
After high school, I chose Accounting among many fields. I did not choose to write, Writing chose me. It is Writing that keeps me alive. In fact, Writing is my wallpaper.
Well, let’s talk about the process to Les Ombres Oppressantes. How did you come to that storyline? How long did it take to get it completed?
I must confess that the storyline naturally came to me. I can’t figure the time it took to become a novel. Nevertheless the whole process, writing and reviewing, lasted two years.
Do you rely on specific targets when you write? Are you militating or leaving writing to art?
Hubert, the reader decides of the use of a book. In a home for instance, a man may find a book distractive whereas his wife finds the same work educative. Though each drop of ink serves a purpose, setting goals beforehand keeps a work flat. No height and no depth.
Relevant! Does that aspect determine the financial return?
Not necessarily. I believe the nature of a book combined to the energy of people around it does. Thinking of money in the process of writing shall appear later as a source of frustration. The public needs enjoyable books and rewards accordingly.
You obviously belong to the new generation of African Writers. Do you intend to thread on the steps of your elders and peers such as Mongo Beti, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka or any other? Or have you planned something new for African Literature?
First of all let us say Literature in Africa, instead of African Literature. Now, I will not thread on anyone’s steps. As I have said earlier, simply because I never chose the topics and the causes of my writings. Writing is not a trend. Talking about steps, you may see some where there are none. You are the one to tell if I am writing a new page of Literature in Africa.
Another great point! Is the reason why you have created Le Salon du Livre Yaoundé-Cameroon with some fellow writers? What is the aim of that Initiative?
Restoring the book! Get it back to the hands and homes of readers and make more readers in Africa. We have noticed how poorly manuscripts were reviewed. The poor quality of published books is increasing in number. So many authors get misled, believing that their books are perfect, yet they shelter an unbearable number of incoherencies and other alarming errors. We work with numbers of writers on a daily basis, for their ink to get refined.
That requires support. Now let’s come back to your latest novel Les Ombres Oppressantes. What is its philosophic breakthrough? Who can read this book? How do you expect it to be perceived?
Honestly, Hubert, I am waiting for your opinion about that first question. Les Ombres Oppressantes is not an essay or any other scientific book that I can rank with my own words. For now, I receive many reviews from people both ordinary readers and critiques; I learn about my own novel each day. But I can certify the book is meant for anyone in the society, regardless of their condition; you can meet villagers, street kids, tycoons, politicians, spiritualism, ghosts… Each novel has one and only goal: to be read! Any mission you decide of after reading is a product of your emotions. There are militating novels that fail to get followed. The genius writer can get you walking on waters.
Just brilliant! Alas, it’s time to close the interview. One last word to the readers? Where is your work available?
Just read LES OMBRES OPPRESSANTES; you shall never feel alone and lonely again. You can find LES OMBRES OPPRESSANTES through Google or any other search engine: many links are available for online purchase. The readers in Cameroon can contact me at +237 677 634 821 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and/or discussion about my work and Le Salon du Livre Yaoude-Cameroon.
Grégoire Nguedi, Flashmag and its readership thank you for the time you took to share your soul.
I am always honored to meet Flashmag and its passionate readers and followers. Hubert, you are doing a great job. I hope to come back soon. Thank you.
LES OMBRES OPPRESSANTES
Moise Demba, a young illiterate villager in search for a good living, takes a trip to a big city. After a certain number of misfortunes, he is finally hired as houseman by a very rich heiress. In the course of chores, he has a serious accident and everybody leaves him for dead but his boss. He wakes from his coma blind and amnesic, but he can write a 400-page exceptional novel In just four hours. Awards and official ceremonies occur. What is behind such sudden talent? The parents of the heiress, who were gifted writers, died in a brutal accident ten years ago. Something is going on in the manor.