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Abdourahman Waberi

Abdourahman A. Waberi
Waberi at the Festivaletteratura, Mantua (2008)
Waberi at the Festivaletteratura, Mantua (2008)
Born (1965-07-20) 20 July 1965 (age 58)
Djibouti City, Djibouti
LanguageSomali, English and French

Abdourahman A. Waberi (Somali: Cabdiraxmaan Waaberi) is a novelist, essayist, poet, academic, and short-story writer from Djibouti.

Early life

Abdourahman Waberi was born in Djibouti City in the French Somali Coast, the current Republic of Djibouti. He went to France in 1985 to study English literature. Waberi worked as a literary consultant for Editions Le Serpent à plumes, Paris, and as a literary critic for Le Monde Diplomatique. He has been a member of the International Jury for the Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage (Berlin, Germany), 2003 & 2004.


Waberi worked as an English teacher at Caen, France, where he has lived for most of his time since 1985. He was awarded with several honours including the Stefan-George-Preis 2006, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, the Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire in 1996 and the Prix biennal " Mandat pour la liberté " – offered by PEN France, 1998. In 2005, he was chosen amongst the "50 Writers of Future" by the French literary magazine Lire.

From 2006 to 2007, Waberi lived in Berlin as a guest of the DAAD. In 2007, he was a Donald and Susan Newhouse Center Humanities Fellow at Wellesley College, USA. His work has been translated into more than ten languages. In 2007, Waberi participated in the international Stock Exchange of Visions project. In 2010, he was a William F. Podlich Distinguished Fellow and a visiting professor at Claremont McKenna College, California, a jury member of the International Dublin Literary Award and an Academie de France Villa Medici fellow in Roma, Italy. In May and June 2012, he was a visiting professor at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. His novel Transit was a finalist for the Best Translated Book Award (2013).[1] Nancy Naomi Carlson is a 2013 recipient of an NEA Literature Translation Fellowship for translating his book of poetry.[citation needed] He teaches now French and Francophone Studies and Creative Writing at George Washington University, Washington DC.[citation needed]

Translated works

  • The Land Without Shadows (short-story collection), translated by Jeanne Garane, prefaced by Nuruddin Farah, University of Virginia Press, 2005
  • In The United States of Africa (novel), translation by David and Nicole Ball, prefaced by Percival Everett, University of Nebraska Press, March 2009.
  • Passage of Tears (novel), translation by David and Nicole Ball, Seagull Books, 2011.
  • Transit (novel), translation by David and Nicole Ball, Indiana University Press, 2012.
  • The Nomads, My Brothers, Go Out to Drink from the Big Dipper (poems), translated by Nancy Naomi Carlson, Seagull Books, 2015.
  • Naming the Dawn (poems), translated by Nancy Naomi Carlson, Seagull Books, 2018.


  • Le Pays Sans Ombre ("The Land Without Shadow"), Serpent à plumes, Paris, 1994, ISBN 2-908957-31-0
  • Balbala, Serpent à plumes, Paris 1998, ISBN 2-07-042121-X
  • Cahier nomade ("Nomad's Book"), Serpent à plumes, Paris, 1999 ISBN 2-84261-127-6
  • L'oeil nomade ("Nomad's Eye"), CCFAR, Djibouti, 1997, ISBN 2-7384-5222-1
  • Les Nomades, mes frères vont boire à, la Grande Ourse ("The Nomads: My brothers go drinking in the Big Dipper") Pierron, Sarreguemines 2000 et Mémoire d'encrier, Montréal, 2013.
  • Rift, routes, rails ("Rifts, Roads and Rails"), Gallimard, Paris 2001, ISBN 2-07-076023-5
  • Transit, Gallimard, Paris 2003, ISBN 2-07-076874-0
  • Moisson de crânes ("Harvest of Skulls"), Serpent à plumes, Paris 2004 ISBN 2-7538-0020-0
  • Aux Etats Unis d'Afrique ("In the United States of Africa"), Lattès, Paris 2006
  • Passage des larmes ("Trail of Tears"), Lattès, Paris, 2009.
  • Dis-moi pour qui j’existe ? (roman), Paris, Jean-Claude Lattès, 2022.


  1. ^ Chad W. Post (10 April 2013). "2013 Best Translated Book Award: The Fiction Finalists". Three Percent. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
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Abdourahman Waberi
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