Ivorian author Veronique Tadjo received an honorary doctorate from the University of St Andrews in Scotland this June. Congrats to her!

Tadjo was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters. The laureation address was delivered by Professor Nicki Hitchcott, Head of School of Modern Languages.

Hitchcott remarked that it was an honor to be Tadjo’s laureator:

In Hitchcott’s laureation address, he mentions Tadjo’s 2017 novel In the Company of Men, which won the top prize for fiction in the Los Angeles Times Book Awards in 2022. Narrated by multiple storytellers, including a bat, the Ebola virus, and a baobab tree, Hitchcott notes that “this brilliant novel resonates strongly with our recent experiences of living through the Covid-19 pandemic”:

This extraordinary book confirms Véronique Tadjo’s status as a world-leading woman writer from francophone Africa. Only a small number of francophone African authors have known success beyond the French-speaking world and very few of them are women.

Read the full speech here.

The University of St Andrews also congratulated Tadjo on her doctorate:

Born in Paris, Tadjo grew up in Abidjan, the de facto capital of the West African nation of Côte d’Ivoire. Tadjo is an Honorary Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she was Head of French and Francophone Studies until 2015. She is the 2024 Weidenfeld Professor at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Tadjo holds a doctorate in Black American literature and civilization from the Sorbonne Paris IV and is also an author and painter. Her novels have been translated into several languages.

Congrats to Tadjo on the honorary doctorate!