African Book Club | The Death of Comrade President by Alain Mabanckou
THE AFRICAN BOOK CLUB @ MOAD
An ongoing series in partnership with Faith Adiele. May’s book selection is The Death of Comrade President by Alain Mabanckou.
How to participate: Get a copy of the book, read it in advance of the meeting, and then discuss the book with a group of people interested in reading African literature online via zoom on May 23rd at 5:00 PM (PST). After you register you will receive information to join via zoom. If you don’t see an email from MoAD, check your spam or junk mail box.
The Death of Comrade President is available for purchase online at the MoAD bookstore.
You can view a list of all the books previously read and discussed in African Book Club, and if you order through bookshop, MoAD will receive a percentage of the sale: https://bookshop.org/lists/african-book-club
Hosted by Faith Adiele, Author, Professor & Co-Founder of African Book Club
About the Book
A poignant and riotous tale of family and revolution in postcolonial Africa, from the winner of the French Voices grand prize and finalist for the Man Booker International Prize
Pointe-Noire, a bustling port town on Congo’s southwestern coast, is host to Alain Mabanckou’s astonishing cycle of novels that is already being hailed as one of the grandest, funniest fictional projects of our time. His novels have been twice short-listed for the Man Booker International Prize and have been described as “beautiful” (Salman Rushdie), “brutally satiric” (Uzodinma Iweala), containing “fireworks on every page” (Los Angeles Review of Books), and “vividly colloquial, mischievous and outrageous” (Marina Warner) .
Mabanckou’s riotous new novel, The Death of Comrade President, returns to the 1970s milieu of his awarding-winning novel Black Moses, telling the story of Michel, a daydreamer whose life is completely overthrown when, in March 1977, just before the arrival of the rainy season, Congo’s Comrade President Marien Ngouabi is brutally murdered. Thanks to his mother’s kinship with the president, not even naive Michel can remain untouched. And if he is to protect his family, Michel must learn to lie.
Moving seamlessly between the small-scale worries of everyday life and the grand tragedy of postcolonial politics, Mabanckou explores the nuances of the human soul through the naive perspective of a boy who learns the realities of life―and how much must change for everything to stay the same.
About the Author
Alain Mabanckou was born in Congo in 1966. An award-winning novelist, poet, and essayist, Mabanckou currently lives in Los Angeles, where he teaches literature at UCLA. He is the author of African Psycho, Broken Glass, Black Bazaar, and Tomorrow I’ll Be Twenty, as well as The Lights of Pointe-Noire and Black Moses (both published by The New Press). In 2015, Mabanckou was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize.