Small Country

Small Country

A Novel

Book - 2018
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Already an international sensation and prize-winning bestseller in France, an evocative coming-of-age story of a young boy, a lost childhood and a shattered homeland.

SHORTLISTED FOR THE ALBERTINE PRIZE * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ESQUIRE * LONGLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION * LONGLISTED FOR THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE

Burundi, 1992. For ten-year-old Gabriel, life in his comfortable expatriate neighborhood of Bujumbura with his French father, Rwandan mother and little sister Ana, is something close to paradise.

These are carefree days of laughter and adventure - sneaking Supermatch cigarettes and gorging on stolen mangoes - as he and his mischievous gang of friends transform their tiny cul-de-sac into their kingdom.

But dark clouds are gathering over this small country, and soon their peaceful existence will shatter when Burundi, and neighboring Rwanda, are brutally hit by civil war and genocide.

A novel of extraordinary power and beauty, Small Country describes an end of innocence as seen through the eyes of a child caught in the maelstrom of history. Shot through with shadows and light, tragedy and humor, it is a stirring tribute not only to a dark chapter in Africa's past, but also to the bright days that preceded it.
Publisher: New York : Hogarth, ©2018.
ISBN: 9781524759872
Characteristics: 183 pages ;,22 cm
Additional Contributors: Ardizzone, Sarah - Translator

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lukasevansherman
May 10, 2019

"Small World," by French-Rwandan writer Gael Faye, joins a growing number of young African novelists reckoning with the continent's tumultuous past while also looking towards the future. Set in Burundi in the 1990's, the book is both a coming of age story and a look at the personal costs of the Rwandan genocide. For further reading: "Freshwater," "Behold the Dreamers," and "Half of a Yellow Sun."

j
juliehutton
Apr 23, 2019

it's a beautiful book, very easy to read and poignant. The author manages to describe a happy child's life in Burundi, until things get slowly off-rail.

t
toni_brinsfield
Feb 08, 2019

Cool metaphor use in this book. The ending of the book was quite shocking and didn't match the cadence and flavor of the beginning. It left me confused. Perhaps that's what the author wanted?

TechLibrarian Oct 15, 2018

Wow, no reviews yet! I'm surprised this book is not garnering more attention, because it really left an impression on me! It's especially pertinent and heart-rending given the worldwide refugee crises, as the narrator tells about his childhood, the fall-outs of war, and how the experiences of his past have affected his senses of identity and belonging. No spoilers, but I think that the ending is one of the most artful and surprising and sad that I've ever read. This book is guaranteed to build compassion and empathy, and will likely stick with you as it has with me.

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