ISBN-10: 1620975890
ISBN-13: 9781620975893
Publisher: New Press
Publish Date: 10/01/2019
Dimensions: 7.40" L, 5.20" W, 0.60" H

Black Moses


Price: $15.99


The heart-breaking (New York Times Book Review), rollicking, award-winning novel that has been described as Oliver Twist in 1970s Africa (Les Inrockuptibles)

One of the most compelling books you’ll read in any language this year. —Rolling Stone

Winner of the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award

Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize

Shortlisted for the Albertine Prize

Shortlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize

Longlisted for the PEN Translation Prize

Greeted with wildly enthusiastic reviews on publication, Alain Mabanckou’s riotous novel begins in an orphanage in 1970s Congo-Brazzaville run by a malicious political stooge who makes the life of our hero, Tokumisa Nzambe po Mose yamoyindo abotami namboka ya Bakoko–his name means Let us thank God, the black Moses is born on the lands of the ancestors, but most people just call him Moses–very difficult.

Moses is also terrorized by his two fellow orphans–the twins Songi-Songi and Tala-Tala–but after Moses exacts revenge on them 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 pointed (Los Angeles Times), vivid and funny (New York Times), larger-than-life tale that chronicles Moses’s ultimately tragic journey through the Pointe-Noire underworld and the politically repressive reality of Congo-Brazzaville in the 1970s and ’80s.

Ringing with beautiful poetry, (Wall Street Journal) Black Moses is a vital new extension of Mabanckou’s cycle of Pointe-Noire novels that stand out as one of the grandest and funniest fictional projects of our time.

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Praise for Black Moses:
Mabanckou populates his tale with a range of colorful supporting characters who tell the narrator their stories – mixtures of truth and lie, of history and mythology and wishful thinking – and these voices imbue the novel's relative brevity with a surprising polyphonic texture.
San Francisco Chronicle

The story's unflinching tone and sly humor belie the tragedy of Moses's situation, as well as the cruelty of the people he meets.
The New Yorker

An orphan story with biting humor. . . as pointed as it is funny.
Los Angeles Times

Heartbreaking . . . Black Moses abounds with moments of black humor but the levity is balanced by Mabanckou's portrait of a dysfunctional society rent by corruption.
New York Times Book Review

[Black Moses] rings with a beautiful poetry.
Wall Street Journal

One of the most compelling books you'll read in any language this year.
Rolling Stone

Moses comes of age quickly in this offbeat bildungsroman. . .
Chicago Tribune

Vivid and funny.
New York Magazine

A small book with a big narrative voice, this wacky new novel by Mabanckou follows the existential misfortunes of an orphan . . . This mythic, beguiling novel is a journey to discover what is hard-wired in us and what we make up about ourselves.
Publishers Weekly (starred)

Funny and sharply satiric...Mabanckou has created a vibrant world in which Pointe-Noir has taken on the stature of an African Yoknapatawpha County.

This tightly contained, densely packed story issues a challenge that never loses its urgency: how does a person cling to a sense of autonomy when it's under siege by so many powerful forces?
Kirkus Reviews (starred)

Praise for the French edition:
A delicious and delicate novel.
Le Monde

From the first sentence there is an ease and spirit, and you know instantly that this story is authentic. Alain Mabanckou has a gift.
Le Figaro Littéraire

A wonderful urban tale.
Le Magazine Littéraire

Tasty but light to begin with, then quickly built and powerful, ultimately shattering.

He wields a sweet and fleshy tongue.
La Vie

Praise for Alain Mabanckou's The Lights of Pointe-Noire:
In lyrical and disarmingly serene prose, the author evokes shock, wonder, and sometimes dismay as he searches for his past...A tender, poetic chronicle of an exile's return.

This is a beautiful book, the past hauntingly reentered, the present truthfully faced, and the translation rises gorgeously to the challenge.
Salman Rushdie

Alain Mabanckou's joyous, vivid narrative style brings to life a frank, tender memoir.
The Independent

The author's real achievement is to capture a universal experience, one ever more common in the age of mass migration: what it means to come home after a long absence...Few books about Africa will find it easier to attract readers far away.
The Economist
More Reviews


ISBN-10: 1620975890
ISBN-13: 9781620975893
Publisher: New Press
Publish Date: 10/01/2019
Dimensions: 7.40" L, 5.20" W, 0.60" H
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