Fiston Mwanza Mujila was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1981 and lives today in Austria. His debut novel, Tram 83, published in English in 2015 by Deep Vellum, won the German International Literature Award and was longlisted for the International Man Booker and the Prix du Monde. In addition to The River in the Belly, he is the author of the poetry collections Craquelures (2011) and Soleil privé de mazout (2016), and three plays, Et les moustiques sont des fruits à pépins, Te voir dressé sur tes deux pattes ne fait que mettre de l'huile sur le feu (2015) and Zu der Zeit der Königinmutter (2018). His writing responds to political turbulence in his native country and frequently foregrounds its debt to jazz. His second novel, The Villain’s Dance, was published in France in 2020 and is forthcoming in English translation from Deep Vellum.