Broken Glass

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Product Details

Price
$16.95  $15.59
Publisher
Soft Skull Press
Publish Date
Pages
176
Dimensions
5.4 X 8.2 X 0.6 inches | 0.45 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781593763077
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Alain Mabanckou is a novelist, journalist, poet, and academic. A French citizen born in Republic of the Congo, he currently lives in Los Angeles, where he teaches literature and creative writing at UCLA. His books include African Psycho, Letter to Jimmy, Black Bazaar, Tomorrow I'll Be Twenty, The Lights of Pointe-Noire, and Black Moses. Mabanckou has twice been a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize, in 2015 and 2017.

Helen Stevenson is a piano teacher, writer and translator. In addition to several books by Alain Mabanckou, she has translated works by Marie Darrieussecq, Alice Ferney, and Catherine Millet.

Uzodinma Iweala is the author of Speak No Evil and Beasts of No Nation, which was the winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the Academy of Arts and Letters, the New York Public Library Young Lions 2006 Fiction Award, and the 2006 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. He lives in New York City and Lagos, Nigeria.

Reviews

The Guardian, 1 of 100 Best Books of the 21st Century

"Whatever else might be in short supply in the Congo depicted by Alain Mabanckou, imagination and wit aren't . . . Broken Glass is a whistlestop tour of French literature and civilization, and if you don't know your Marivaux, your Chateaubriand, your ENAs and Weston shoes you'll miss a lot of the gags ("a quarrel of Brest," anyone?)--but don't worry, there are still plenty left. It's not just French writers who make an appearance. That arch navel-gazer Holden Caulfield . . . has a walk-on part, and Broken Glass ends "we'll meet again, in the other world, Holden, we'll have a drink together . . . I'll tell you what they do with the poor little ducks in cold countries during winter time." Although its cultural and intertextual musings could fuel innumerable doctorates, the real meat of Broken Glass is its comic brio, and Mabanckou's jokes work the whole spectrum of humour . . . Much of the writing from Africa (or at least most of the stuff we get to see) is of an earnest or grim character, and it makes a pleasant change to encounter a writer who isn't afraid of a laugh." --Tibor Fischer, The Guardian


"This is not cute Africa, as described by Alexander McCall Smith . . . Mabanckou is one of Africa's liveliest and most original voices, and this novel pulses with energy and invention." --The Times of London

Broken Glass has a loud and living voice, an almost overwhelmingly singular style masterfully translated with dedicated consistency by Helen Stevenson, with fireworks on every page, and expertly navigates its many unapologetically human projects. It casts a bright, honest light on its subjects, and asks questions that are democratic, serious, and perilous for those in power: Whose stories are worth telling? And who gets to tell those stories? All of this even as Mabanckou beautifully, subtly, sadly, and, yes, redemptively tells the story of a narrator grieving from the bottom of a bottle. The book is profoundly literary, bouncingly readable, funny, heartbreaking, obscene, fierce, and restorative. It's a book of love, really. Tough love. What more could you want from a masterpiece? --Scott Cheshire, Los Angeles Review of Books

"Set in a sad-sack Congolese bar called Credit Gone West, this ingeniously satirical novel by Congolese poet and novelist Mabanckou (African Psycho) creates a microcosm of postcolonial African experience through the tales of sodden bar patrons. . . . Literary allusions (Holden Caulfield has a cameo) and gentle ironies punctuate this wickedly entertaining novel." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"It is the author's sense of humor--and he can find humor in even the most tragic or vulgar circumstances--that makes Broken Glass a memorable and successful novel." --Booklist

"This novel is, among other things, an idiosyncratic and raucously impertinent tour of the Western canon . . . It's also worth noting that, unlike many authors who might be called experimental, Mabanckou is funny, and his Rabelaisian riffs are a brilliant counterpoint to the real despair and dysfunction he depicts. Important, entertaining and subtly moving."--Kirkus Reviews

"A dizzying combination of erudition, bawdy humor and linguistic effervescence. --Melissa McClements, Financial Times