Memoirs of a Porcupine

Memoirs of a Porcupine

Paperback

By (author) Alain Mabanckou, Translated by Helen Stevenson

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  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail
  • Format: Paperback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 216mm x 12mm | 201g
  • Publication date: 5 July 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846687683
  • ISBN 13: 9781846687686
  • Sales rank: 436,039

Product description

Outlandish, surreal and compelling, a murderous porcupine tells all: 'For years I was the double of Kibandi ...He died the day before yesterday, so here is my confession' All human beings, says an African legend, have an animal double. Some are benign, others wicked. When Kibandi, a boy living in a Congolese village, reaches the age of eleven, his father takes him out into the night, and forces him to drink a vile liquid from a jar which has been hidden for years in the earth. This is his initiation and, from this point on, he, and his double, a porcupine, become murderers, attacking neighbours, fellow villagers, and anyone unfortunate enough to cross their path. But now Kibandi is dead, and the porcupine, free of his master, is free to tell their story at last.

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Author information

Alain Mabanckou was born in 1966 in the Congo. He currently lives in LA, where he teaches literature at UCLA. One of Africa's major writers, he is the author of six volumes of poetry and six novels. He received the Subsaharan African Literature Prize for Blue-White-Red, and the Prix Renaudot for Memoirs of a Porcupine. He was selected by the French journal Lire as one of the fifty writers to watch out for this coming century. He was awarded the Grand Prix de la Litterature in 2012. Other novels, African Psycho [9781846686412], Broken Glass [9781846688157] and Black Bazaar [9781846687778] are also published by Serpent's Tail.

Review quote

'Obsessive and slyly playful... the prose runs wild to weave endless sentences, their rhythm and pace attuned to the narrator's rhetorical extravagances' (Independent) 'A comic romp that releases Mabanckou's sense of humour... His jokes work the whole spectrum of humour' (Guardian)"