While Isabelle Boni-Claverie is above all known as a filmmaker and screenwriter, she is also a writer. Literature was indeed her first love. As a child, she devoured books, often “up to four or five at a time.” Very early on, she saw herself becoming a writer and started to write stories. At eighteen, she won an award for her first novel, La Grande Dévoreuse (The Great Devourer), published in the “Villes d’Exil” collection (Editions Le Monde/La Découverte), and later republished in the form of a novel by NEI (Nouvelles Editions Ivoiriennes).
Isabelle Boni-Claverie first studied Modern Literature at the Sorbonne before branching out into another form of writing: cinema. She learned the art of screenwriting at the Fémis national film school, while also continuing to publish short stories.
Parallel to her work as a screenwriter and director, she has also signed a great many articles. At the age of just twenty-one, she was a reporter and cultural journalist for Planète Jeunes, a publication destined for young French-speaking readers.
A year later, she headed the film section of Revue Noire, the first French-language contemporary art magazine devoted to Africa and its diaspora. She then worked for five years for Afrique Magazine, creating their “Ma nuit avec” column. In it, she published reports on an artist or personality whom she and a photographer followed for a whole night.
Since 2016, Isabelle Boni-Claverie has a column in the Huffington Post. Her articles on race issues are widely read, circulated and cited.
In 2017, she published Trop noire pour être française (Editions Taillandier), an autobiographical account that reads like a novel. In this acclaimed family saga, which writer Henri Lopès likened to a modern-day Black Skin, White Masks (Fanon), she develops the reflection begun in her documentary of the same title on the way in which France’s colonial past continues to affect French society today.