Sunday, June 30, 2013

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Tomorrow I Will be Twenty Years Old: Alain Mabanckou (Author), Helen Stevenson (Translator), J. M. G. Le Clezio (Foreword)

Tomorrow I Will be Twenty Years Old: Alain Mabanckou (Author), Helen Stevenson (Translator), J. M. G. Le Clezio (Foreword)


From the winner of the Grand Prix de la Litterature - Mabanckou's trademark humour and surrealism combine in an autobiographical novel. Michel is ten years old, living in Pointe Noire, Congo, in the 1970s. His mother sells peanuts at the market, his father works at the Victory Palace Hotel, and brings home books left behind by the white guests. Planes cross the sky overhead, and Michel and his friend Lounes dream about the countries where they'll land. While news comes over the radio of the American hostage crisis in Tehran, the death of the Shah, the scandal of the Boukassa diamonds, Michel struggles with the demands of his twelve year old girlfriend Caroline, who threatens to leave him for a bully in the football team. But most worrying for Michel, the witch doctor has told his mother that he has hidden the key to her womb, and must return it before she can have another child. Somehow he must find it. "Tomorrow I'll Be Twenty" is a humurous and poignant account of an African childhood, drawn from Alain Mabanckou's life.

Editorial Reviews


"'Africa's Samuel Beckett... Mabanckou's freewheeling prose marries classical French elegance with Paris slag and a Congolese beat' (Economist) 'Mabanckou's irreverent wit and madcap energy have made him a big name in France' (Giles Foden, author of the Last King of Scotland) 'A dizzying combination of erudition, bawdy humour and linguistic effervescence' (Financial Times)"

About the Author


Alain Mabanckou is considered to be one of the most talented and prolific writers in the French language today and the first francophone sub-saharian African writer to be published by Gallimard in its prestigious "collection" called La Blanche. He was born in Congo-Brazzaville in 1966 and is mostly known for his novels, notably Verre Cassé (BROKEN GLASS) which was unanimously praised by the press, critics and readers alike. 

In 2006 he published Memoires de porc-épic (Memoirs of a Porcupine) which garnered him the Prix RENAUDOT, one of the highest distinctions in literature written in french. His novels are published in more than fifteen languages. 

He his currently a professor of French and Francophone studies at the University of California-Los Angeles.

Funmi Tofowomo Okelola

-The Art of Living and Impermanence

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