A man – despite being a staunch opponent of animism – confides to a former party comrade: “I was bewitched by my paternal uncle”. Another, Likibi, is tried for having prevented the rain from falling on his village: accused of being a fetishist, he is executed. A factory watchman praises the communist Revolution without understanding a single word; his zeal will have fatal consequences for him. With bitter irony and a tone of detachment, this collection of eight short stories describes the collapse of new African states and the disillusionment that followed independence. So many portraits of men and women that Emmanuel Dongala succeeds in depicting convincingly and with humanity. The style is faux naïf, the situations sometimes bizarre... and even if the author indulges in flights of fancy – related to his passion for jazz – the overall impression remains pessimistic behind the bittersweet humour of the writing.
Born in 1941, Emmanuel Dongala grew up in Congo-Brazzaville and now lives in the United States. He is the author of many novels, including “Les petits garçons naissent aussi des étoiles” (“Boys Also Come From Stars”) and “Johnny Chien Méchant” (“Mean Dog Johnny”), publishing by Serpent à plumes.
Year of publication of the pan-African version: 2009, 204 pages, 11,5 X 19 cm