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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
During World War II, a renegade British army officer, Orde Charles Wingate, was plucked from his desk job to help drive the Japanese from the jungles of Burma. A pioneer in controversial guerrilla tactics, Colonel Wingate organized quick-strike units of African soldiers -- called the Chindits -- that were specially trained to penetrate deep behind enemy lines.
Nigerian writer Bandele is the son of one of Wingate's men, and he grew up listening to his father's vivid stories of the war. In his finely executed and powerful novel, he mines his father's experiences along with his own extensive research about the Burma campaign, to create an immediate, brutal, and true account of the jungle conflict, which has seemingly been forgotten in the annals of World War II. His hero is Farabiti Banana, an underage boy from a village in northern Nigeria. Banana lies about his age to join the king's war, honored to fight for his countrymen and the respect of his friends.
Already being compared to Discover Award winner Uzodinma Iweala's Beasts of No Nation, Bandele's vital yet terse prose captures the dark humor of Banana and his comrades-in-arms as they confront the torturous jungle conditions of ghostly Japanese snipers perched in the trees, the constant presence of death, and the numbing anxiety of war. (Summer 2009 Selection)