Gaby, a young boy living in Burundi, wants nothing more than to spend his days playing with friends and messing around in the neighborhood just like any kid would. He is not ready to give up his childhood when his country is faced with war and mass genocide. At just eleven years old, Gaby is forced to accept that the days of stealing mangos and playing cards are ending and his idea of ‘home’ is about to change. Small Country, Faye’s first novel, captivated my emotions and thoughts as it shows the small period of peace in Rwanda and Burundi transform into unimaginable chaos, violence, and terror through a young boy’s perspective.
Already an international sensation and prize-winning bestseller in France, an evocative coming-of-age story of a young boy, a lost childhood and a shattered homeland.'I was born with this story. It ran in my blood. I belonged to it.' Burundi, 1992. For ten-year-old Gabriel, life in his comfortable expatriate neighborhood of Bujumbura with his French father, Rwandan mother and little sister Ana, is something close to paradise. These are carefree days of laughter and adventure - sneaking Supermatch cigarettes and gorging on stolen mangoes - as he and his mischievous gang of friends transform their tiny cul-de-sac into their kingdom. But dark clouds are gathering over this small country, and soon their peaceful existence will shatter when Burundi, and neighboring Rwanda, are brutally hit by civil war and genocide. A novel of extraordinary power and beauty, Small Country describes an end of innocence as seen through the eyes of a child caught in the maelstrom of history. Shot through with shadows and light, tragedy and humor, it is a stirring tribute not only to a dark chapter in Africa's past, but also to the bright days that preceded it.
About the Author
Gaël Faye was born in 1982 in Burundi to a French father and Rwandan mother. In 1995, after the outbreak of the civil war and the Rwandan genocide, the family moved to France. An author, songwriter and hip-hop artist, he released his first solo album, Pili Pili sur un croissant au beurre, in 2013. Small Country is his first novel. A bestseller in France, it has been awarded numerous literary prizes, among them the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens, and is being published in thirty countries worldwide. He lives in Paris.