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The Lights of Pointe-Noire (Paperback)
  • The Lights of Pointe-Noire (Paperback)
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The Lights of Pointe-Noire (Paperback)

(author), (translator)
£8.99
Paperback 202 Pages / Published: 14/05/2015
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Finalist for the Man Booker International Prize 2015 Alain Mabanckou left Congo in 1989, at the age of twenty-two, not to return until a quarter of a century later. When at last he comes home to Pointe-Noire, a bustling port town on Congo's south-eastern coast, he finds a country that in some ways has changed beyond recognition: the cinema where, as a child, Mabanckou gorged on glamorous American culture has become a Pentecostal temple, and his secondary school has been re-named in honour of a previously despised colonial ruler. But many things remain unchanged, not least the swirling mythology of Congolese culture which still informs everyday life in Pointe-Noire. Mabanckou though, now a decorated French-Congolese writer and esteemed professor at UCLA, finds he can only look on as an outsider at the place where he grew up. As he delves into his childhood, into the life of his departed mother and into the strange mix of belonging and absence that informs his return to Congo, Mabanckou slowly builds a stirring exploration of the way home never leaves us, however long ago we left home.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781846689802
Number of pages: 202
Weight: 243 g
Dimensions: 201 x 134 x 17 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS
This is a beautiful book, the past hauntingly re-entered, the present truthfully faced, and the translation rises gorgeously to the challenge. * Salman Rushdie *
Novels such as African Psycho, Memoirs of a Porcupine and (my favourite) Broken Glass have made his name as a hugely engaging storyteller whose humour, mischief and sheer bravura only throw the melancholy of his forlorn migrant heroes into even bolder relief. Now he, justly, stands among the finalists for the Man Booker International Prize, announced next week...Now he has written an overt memoir, but one that shares with his novels a glorious polyphony of voices and a winning amalgam of frankness and tenderness - deftly carried into English again by his regular translator, Helen Stevenson -- Boyd Tonkin * Independent *
Mabanckou is one of the continent's greatest writers and he's getting better with each book * Guardian *
One of Africa's liveliest and most original voices * The Times *
Mabanckou is, in fact, incomparable * Financial Times *
In search of his past, Mabanckou evokes the light and shadow of Pointe-Noire, his "lost paradise" * Radio France Internationale *
A literary blow to the solar plexus ... undulating and poignant, raw and poetic' * La Presse *
At the end of this journey, the conclusion is clear - the country that lives within him is no longer his own, but Mabanckou remains loyal to his mother's last wish: "Never forget that hot water was once cold." * Telerama *
A rich and astonishing book * L'Express *

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