Allah is Not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma

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Why should you read this book rather than the surplus of other works engaging the same subject? Here's why: the completely complete absence of sentimentalism and exoticism in Kourouma's narrative.
-NPR

Synopsis

ALLAH IS NOT OBLIGED TO BE FAIR ABOUT ALL THE THINGS HE DOES HERE ON EARTH.These are the words of the boy soldier Birahima in the final masterpiece by one of Africa’s most celebrated writers, Ahmadou Kourouma. When ten-year-old Birahima's mother dies, he leaves his native village in the Ivory Coast, accompanied by the sorcerer and cook Yacouba, to search for his aunt Mahan. Crossing the border into Liberia, they are seized by rebels and forced into military service. Birahima is given a Kalashnikov, minimal rations of food, a small supply of dope and a tiny wage. Fighting in a chaotic civil war alongside many other boys, Birahima sees death, torture, dismemberment and madness but somehow manages to retain his own sanity. Raw and unforgettable, despairing yet filled with laughter, Allah Is Not Obliged reveals the ways in which children's innocence and youth are compromised by war.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Ahmadou Kourouma

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Ahmadou Kourouma was born in the Ivory Coast in 1927. He was the author of the novels The Suns of Independence, Monnew, and Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote. Hailed as one of the leading African writers in French, he died in 2003.
 
Published June 1, 2011 by Anchor. 226 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Reviewed by A Igoni Barrett on May 05 2013

Why should you read this book rather than the surplus of other works engaging the same subject? Here's why: the completely complete absence of sentimentalism and exoticism in Kourouma's narrative.

Read Full Review of Allah is Not Obliged | See more reviews from NPR

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