Alain Mabanckou

Memoirs Of A Porcupine

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All human beings, says an African legend, have an animal double. Some doubles are benign, others wicked. This legend comes to life in Alain Mabanckou’s outlandish, surreal, and charmingly nonchalant Memoirs of a Porcupine.
When Kibandi, a boy living in a Congolese village, reaches the age of 11, his father takes him out into the night and forces him to drink a vile liquid from a jar that has been hidden for years in the earth. This is his initiation. From now on, he and his double, a porcupine, become accomplices in murder. They attack neighbors, fellow villagers, and people who simply cross their path, for reasons so slight that it is virtually impossible to establish connection between the killings. As he grows older, Kibandi relies on his double to act out his grizzly compulsions, until one day even the porcupine balks and turns instead to literary confession.
Winner of the Prix Renaudot, France’s equal to the National Book Award, Alain Mabanckou is considered one of the most talented writers today. He was selected by the French journal Lire as one of fifty writers to watch this coming century. And as Peter Carey suggests, he “positions himself at the margins, tapping the tradition founded by Celine, Genet, and other subversive writers.” In this superb and striking story, Mabanckou brings new power to magical realism, and is sure to excite American audiences nationwide.
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  • дэ бэділиться враженням5 років тому

    этот монолог дикобраза подле баобаба — и мистический триллер, и исповедь, и капсульная пост-колониальная мифология. и дикари в ней мы.


  • Daiana Mavleaцитує4 роки тому
    hearing Amédée talk to the young girls about the things in his books, and the girls looked at him with more respect and consideration because for monkey cousins, if you’ve read a lot of books it gives you the right to boast, to look down on others, and people who’ve read a great deal seem to talk all the time, especially about the things in their books that are most difficult to understand, they want other people to know they’ve read things, so Amédée would tell the young girls all about a wretched old man who went deep sea fishing and had to battle all alone with a huge fish, if you ask me this huge fish was the harmful double of a fisherman who was jealous of the old guy’s experience, our erudite young friend also talked about another old man who liked to read love stories and went to help a village to wipe out a wild beast that was terrorising the region, I’m sure the beast was the harmful double of a villager in that distant land, and it was also Amédée who told them several times over the story of a guy who flew about on a magic carpet, a patriarch who founded a village called Macondo, and all his descendents were afflicted by a kind of curse and were born half-man, half-animal, with snouts, and pig’s tails, I’m convinced these must have been cases of harmful doubles, and if I remember correctly, he told stories about some weird guy who went round fighting windmills, or, in a similar vein a poor unfortunate officer in a desert camp sitting waiting for reinforcements, and then again the old colonel waiting for a letter and his veteran’s pension, living in abject poverty with his sick wife, all their hopes pinned on their fighting cock, that cock was their one ray of hope, it must have been a peaceful double of some kind, well, I won’t go on
  • Daiana Mavleaцитує4 роки тому
    I don’t suppose anyone’s ever sat beneath your shade reading a novel, well you’re not missing anything, but just to keep it simple, and not pollute your spirit, I’ll tell you this, novels are books written by men to recount things which are untrue, they’ll say it all comes from their imagination, there are some novelists who would sell their own mothers or fathers to steal my porcupine destiny, draw inspiration from it, write a story in which I’d have an rather less than glorious role, make me look like low life, let me tell you this, human beings find life so boring, they need novels so they can invent other lives for themselves, by diving into one of these books
  • Daiana Mavleaцитує4 роки тому
    if you do see a deaf man running, my dears, don’t ask questions, follow him, because he hasn’t heard the danger, he’s seen it
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