The enigma is dressed in jeans-sneakers. And looks you in the eye without ever lowering them. That day, the young woman and her secrets are right on time. Down to the second. The usual greetings barely exchanged, here she is already posing like a pro in front of the photographer’s film, obeying him without complaining for over an hour.
Then, the student with long braids and stylish glasses sits around the table of a Parisian restaurant. Sitting not far from her press officer, we feel her a little tense, but ready for confidences. At least, that’s what we hope … This mystery, with the smile that stretches her puppy face, is called Diary Sow.
In January, this Senegalese, then in the second year of scientific preparatory class at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, in the 5e arrondissement of Paris, had disappeared from France before reappearing seventeen days later in Dakar. His absence had caused liters of tears and ink to flow between the two continents; tormented his fellow citizens around the world; captivated the international press which questioned itself repeatedly and in all languages: “Where’s Diary Sow?” “ “Why did she leave?” ”
Today, the 21-year-old looks back on her story, but taking a surprising path. If she agreed to meet a journalist, it is because she published, on November 4, a novel at the request of Robert Laffont with the a priori unequivocal title: I leave (216 pages, 16 euros). The advertising banner on the book cover is also unambiguous: “Disappear, some dream of it. She did it. ”
The announcement of her second novel – she had already published Under the face of an angel, in 2020 at L’Harmattan – awakens the curiosity of all those in France and Senegal who closely followed his disappearance and finally wish to understand his gesture. “We can’t wait to see what happens in this novel”, launches his friend Mohamed Massal Gueye who lives in Dakar. There, bookstores are preparing for the release of the book. In France, the first printing is planned for 5,000 copies.
To grasp the irrational scale of the Diary Sow affair, it is necessary to recall the facts. It all begins on January 4, 2021. This morning, it is the start of the school year at Louis-le-Grand, but the student, holder of an excellence scholarship, is not present in class. Strange. Has she extended the Christmas holidays? Is she in pain? Why did she not warn? It doesn’t look like him. Tuesday, Wednesday, still no sign of life. Worried, the prestigious establishment ended up alerting, on Thursday 7, the consular services of this absence. The same day, the Senegalese consul general went to the police station to lodge a complaint.
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