Black Moses

Black Moses

Book - 2017
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"A rollicking new novel described as "Oliver Twist in 1970s Africa" (Les Inrockuptibles) by the finalist for the Man International Booker Prize It's not easy being Tokumisa Nzambe po Mose yamoyindo abotami namboka ya Bakoko. There's that long name of his for a start, which means, "Let us thank God, the black Moses is born on the lands of the ancestors." Most people just call him Moses. Then there's the orphanage where he lives, run by a malicious political stooge, Dieudonne Ngoulmoumako, and where he's terrorized by two fellow orphans-the twins Songi-Songi and Tala-Tala. But after Moses exacts revenge on the twins by lacing their food with hot pepper, the twins take Moses under their wing, escape the orphanage, and move to the bustling port town of Pointe-Noire, where they form a gang that survives on petty theft. What follows is a funny, moving, larger-than-life tale that chronicles Moses's ultimately tragic journey through the Pointe-Noire underworld and the politically repressive world of Congo-Brazzaville in the 1970s and 80s. Mabanckou's vivid portrayal of Moses's mental collapse echoes the work of Hugo, Dickens, and Brian DePalma's Scarface, confirming Mabanckou's status as one of our great storytellers. Black Moses is a vital new extension of his cycle of Pointe-Noire novels that stand out as one of the grandest, funniest, fictional projects of our time"--
Publisher: New York :, The New Press,, 2017
ISBN: 9781620972939
Branch Call Number: F Mabanckou
Characteristics: 199 pages ;,20 cm
Additional Contributors: Stevenson, Helen (Translator)


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May 21, 2018

While globalization has a lot of downsides (You wanna fight Tom Friedman?), one thin silver lining is that more literature from around the world is readily available and the Western aesthetic hegemony is finally weakening. Congolese writer Alain Mabanckou's "Black Moses" (I'm not sure if the title is a shout out to Isaac Hayes or not.) has been described as "Oliver Twist in 1970s Africa," although where Dickens is sprawling and wordy, Mabanckou's novel is compact and focused. You might also want to check out "The Lights of Pointe-Noire." Translated from the French.

Aug 30, 2017

This is a coming of age story of a young Congolese boy who grew up in an orphanage, ran away to Pointe Noire and lived with gangs, and through the kindness of a woman he meets, got a job. Life under a repressive and corrupt political regime leads to mental collapse and madness. A satire, but I found it mostly sad. 2017 International Man Booker nominee.


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