By Boubacar Boris Diop. Translated by Translated by Bhakti Shringarpure and Sara C. Hanaburgh. Foreword by Ayo A. Coly
Available from Indiana University Press
This dark and suspenseful novel tells the story of a fictitious West African country caught in the grip of civil war. The dispassionate and deadpan narrator, Asante Kroma, is a former head of Secret Services and finds himself living with the corpse of the dictator, a man who once ruled his nation with an iron fist. Through a series of flashbacks and letters penned by the dictator, N’Zo Nikiema, readers discover the role of the French shadow leader, Pierre Castaneda, whose ongoing ambition to exploit the natural resources of the country knows no limits. As these powerful men use others as pawns in a violent real-life chess match, it is the murder of six-year-old Kaveena and her mother’s quest for vengeance that brings about a surprise reckoning.
Boubacar Boris Diop, one of Africa's most original and important authors, has written six novels including Murambi, The Book of Bones (IUP, 2006). He currently writes and teaches in Senegal.
Sara C. Hanaburgh is an independent scholar of African literature and cinema and translator of Angèle Rawiri's Fureurs et cris de femmes.
Bhakti Shringarpure is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Connecticut (Storrs). She is cofounder and editor in chief of Warscapes magazine, which publishes art and literature about contemporary conflicts.
Ayo A. Coly is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and African Studies at Dartmouth College and author of The Pull of Postcolonial Nationhood: Gender and Migration in Francophone African Literatures.