Longlisted for the International Man Booker Prize 2017
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE 2017
It's 1970, and in the People's Republic of Congo a Marxist-Leninist revolution is ushering in a new age. But over at the orphanage on the outskirts of Pointe-Noire where young Moses has grown up, the revolution has only strengthened the reign of terror of Dieudonne Ngoulmoumako, the institution's corrupt director.
So Moses escapes to Pointe-Noire, where he finds a home with a larcenous band of Congolese Merry Men and among the Zairian prostitutes of the Trois-Cents quarter. But the authorities won't leave Moses in peace, and intervene to chase both the Merry Men and the Trois-Cents girls out of town. All this injustice pushes poor Moses over the edge. Could he really be the Robin Hood of the Congo? Or is he just losing his marbles?
Black Moses is a larger-than-life comic tale of a young man obsessed with helping the helpless in an unjust world. It is also a vital new extension of Mabanckou's extraordinary, interlinked body of work dedicated to his native Congo, and confirms his status as one of our great storytellers.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
Heartbreaking... Black Moses abounds with moments of black humor but the levity is balanced by Mabanckou's portrait of a dysfunctional society rent by corruption, poverty, political instability and tribal rivalries * The New York Times * Language and literature bestow both blessings and curses on the picaresque heroes in Mr Mabanckou's novels of his central African homeland ... Black Moses exhibits all the charm, warmth and verbal brio that have won the author of Broken Glass and African Psycho so many admirers - and the informal title of Africa's Samuel Beckett. Helen Stevenson, his translator, again shakes Mr Mabanckou's cocktail of sophistication and simplicity into richly idiomatic English. * Economist * Alain Mabanckou addresses the reader with exuberant inventiveness in novels that are brilliantly imaginative in their forms of storytelling. His voice is vividly colloquial, mischievous and often outrageous as he explores, from multiple angles, the country where he grew up, drawing on its political conflicts and compromises, disappointments and hopes. He acts the jester, but with serious intent and lacerating effect. -- Man Booker International Prize 2015, judges' citation Africa's Samuel Beckett ... one of the continent's greatest living writers * Guardian * A Congolese rewriting and reimagining of Dickens * Scotsman *