Boubacar Boris Diop, foreword by Ayo A Coly, edited by Boubacar Boris Diop, translated by Bhakti Shringarpure and Sara C Hanaburgh
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 03/28/2016
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-02043-7
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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.

Author Bio

Boubacar Boris Diop, one of Africa's most original and important authors, has written six novels including Murambi, The Book of Bones (IUP). 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.


“This is Diop's way of digging out of a silent history.”
 — Contemporary Francophone Writers and the Burden of Commitment

“Clear-sighted and desperate, speaks relentlessly of Africa bruised at the hands of local and foreign politicians, brutal, greedy, merciless. A brave novel that pulls no punches.”
 — International Alliance of Independent Publishers

“A dark, ferocious novel that you won't put down unscathed, and certainly not any more confident in the goodness in the hearts of humankind.”
 — Maurice Mourier, La Quinzaine Litteraire

“Always opinionated, always passionate, and always worth reading.”
 — The Lit Hub

“In a civil-war torn nation where powerful men use others as pawns in a real-life violent chess match, the murder of six-year-old Kaveena and her mother’s quest for vengeance bring about a surprise reckoning.”

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