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In the Belly of the Congo: A Novel

In the Belly of the Congo: A Novel

In the Belly of the Congo: A Novel

In the Belly of the Congo: A Novel


Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on February 7, 2023


A gripping multigenerational novel that explores the history and human cost of colonialism in the Congo.

April 1958. When the Brussels World’s Fair opens, Robert Dumont, one of the people responsible for the biggest international event since the end of the Second World War, ends up laying down his arms in the face of pressure from the royal palace: there will be a “Congolese village” in one of the seven pavilions devoted to the settlements. Among the eleven recruits mobilized at the foot of the Atomium to put on a show is the young Tshala, daughter of the intractable king of the Bakuba. The journey of this princess is revealed to us, from her native Kasai to Brussels via Léopoldville, to her forced exhibition at Expo 58, where we lose track of it.

Summer 2004. Freshly arrived in Belgium, a niece of the missing princess crosses paths with a man haunted by the ghost of his father. This is Francis Dumont, professor of law at the Free University of Brussels. A succession of events ends up revealing to them the secret carried by the former deputy commissioner of Expo 58 to his tomb. From one century to the next, the novel embraces History with a capital “H,” to pose the central question of the colonial equation: can the past pass?

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635422580
Publisher: Other Press, LLC
Publication date: 02/07/2023
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Blaise Ndala is a Canadian writer originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His debut novel, J’irai danser sur la tombe de Senghor, won the Ottawa Book Award for French fiction and was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award. His book Sans capote ni kalachnikov won the 2019 Combat des livres and was a finalist for the Grand prix littéraire d’Afrique noire and the Trillium Book Award. In the Belly of the Congo is his first book to appear in English.

Amy B. Reid is an award-winning translator and Professor of French and Gender Studies at New College of Florida. In 2016 she received a Literature Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for Patrice Nganang’s When the Plums Are Ripe. Her other translations include Patrice Nganang’s Dog Days, Mount Pleasant, and A Trail of Crab Tracks, Mutt-Lon’s The Blunder, and Véronique Tadjo’s Queen Pokou.

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