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Saint Paul University Welcomes Blaise Ndala as Inaugural Writer in Residence


OTTAWA (Ontario), Friday, August 26, 2022 — Saint Paul University and the Faculties of Human Sciences and Philosophy are proud to announce Blaise Ndala as its inaugural writer in residence. The Franco-Ontarian writer will begin his year-long residency on September 1.

Ndala, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been a resident of Ottawa for several years and is the author of three critically acclaimed novels: J’irai danser sur la tombe de Senghor (2015), Sans capote ni kalachnikov (2017) et Dans le ventre du Congo (2021). The English translation of the latter, In the Belly of the Congo, will be published in early 2023.

During his residency, Ndala will have access to the University’s services and resources as he works on his fourth novel. The SPU community will also have the opportunity to invite him as a conference speaker or classroom guest in order to learn about his experience as an author.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mr. Ndala as our first writer in residence,” shared Aurélie Lacassagne, Dean of the Faculties of Human Sciences and Philosophy. “His presence will certainly enrich the learning experience of our students and we’re proud of this artistic initiative that reaffirms our roots within the Franco-Ontairan community.”

Ndala is the recipient of numerous literary distinctions, including the 2015 Ottawa Book Award for French-language fiction, the 2019 emerging author award from the Association des auteures et auteurs de l’Ontario français. His second novel also won the CBC’s French-language Canada Reads competition (Combat des livres) in 2019. His most recent novel, Dans le ventre du Congo, has received critical acclaim internationally, including awards such as: Prix Ivoire de la littérature africaine d’expression francophone 2021, Prix Ahmadou Kourouma 2021 from the Salon du livre de Genève, and the Prix international de littérature Cheikh Hamidou Kane from an international literary festival in Dakar, Senegal.

Outside of his writing career, Ndala works as deputy director within the Office of the Correctional Investigator. He holds a law degree from the University of Kinshasa, a graduate diploma in international law and human rights, and a Master’s in public administration from the Université du Québec.

About Saint Paul University

Founded in 1848, Saint Paul University is an institution steeped in tradition with values focused on creating a more just and humane future. With programs specialized in human and social sciences, Saint Paul University seeks to drive positive social change and empower communities through research and innovation. For more information, please visit ustpaul.ca.

For more information, please contact:
Julie Bourassa
Communications Officer, Saint Paul University
613-236-1393, ext. 2310

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