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Life and a Half
     

Life and a Half

5.0 2
by Sony Labou Tansi
 

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ISBN-10: 0253222877

ISBN-13: 2900253222878

Pub. Date: 02/01/2011

Publisher: Indiana University Press

Regarded as one of the 100 best books on Africa, Life and a Half was Sony Labou Tansi's response to the death of close friends during a bloody military and political crackdown in Congo. The novel takes place in an imaginary African country run by the latest in a series of cannibalistic dictators, who has captured Martial, the leader of the opposition, and his

Overview

Regarded as one of the 100 best books on Africa, Life and a Half was Sony Labou Tansi's response to the death of close friends during a bloody military and political crackdown in Congo. The novel takes place in an imaginary African country run by the latest in a series of cannibalistic dictators, who has captured Martial, the leader of the opposition, and his family. Though shot, knifed, butchered, and bled, Martial's spirit lives on to guide his followers in their fight against the dictator. Appeasing Congo censors in a way that boldly challenged them, Tansi insisted that his book was a fable and that if he were ever given the opportunity to write about real events, he would be much more direct rather than follow the torturous paths of a novel. This crisp translation by Alison Dundy maintains the fast-paced action and bitingly satiric tone of the original.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900253222878
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
02/01/2011
Series:
Global African Voices Series
Edition description:
NE
Pages:
150

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Life and a Half 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
LaGrise More than 1 year ago
After reading Life and a Half, most of it in a day, I felt like my head was on fire. Discovering Sony Labou Tansi was like suddenly having a brilliant, eccentric friend in Africa who could really puncture the lazy generalizations about life there. This wouldn't be possible without Alison Dundy's spectacular work in bringing this novel into English. As far as I could tell (without having the French original at hand), the translation is completely transparent. Despite some pretty gnarly problems to solve, Dundy's work does not call attention to itself at all and totally honors the wild mind of this guy. Tansi is unrelenting and funny. Life and a Half is a dark, wild fever dream of a novel. Read it.
A-Heminway More than 1 year ago
If politicians around the world had read this book when it was first published in 1979, violence and massacres could have been avoided in Rwanda, in Congo, in Sierra Leone and many other African countries. Life and a half is one of the most powerful books you'll ever read. Many thanks Alison Dundy to put this book on the map, on the reading map and for your vision and energy to undertake one of the most difficult translations ever. Although Alain Mabanckou and Ahmadou Kourouma's language and humour are hard to translate, Sony Labou Tansi's language is probably the toughest. And Ms Dundy's rendering of rhythm, satire and derision, is a tour de force.