Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou

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Synopsis

Alain Mabanckou’s riotous new novel centers on the patrons of a run-down bar in the Congo. In a country that appears to have forgotten the importance of remembering, a former schoolteacher and bar regular nicknamed Broken Glass has been elected to record their stories for posterity. But Broken Glass fails spectacularly at staying out of trouble as one denizen after another wants to rewrite history in an attempt at making sure his portrayal will properly reflect their exciting and dynamic lives. Despondent over this apparent triumph of self-delusion over self-awareness, Broken Glass drowns his sorrows in red wine and riffs on the great books of Africa and the West. Brimming with life, death, and literary allusions, Broken Glass is Mabanckou’s finest novel — a mocking satire of the dangers of artistic integrity.
 

About Alain Mabanckou

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Alain Mabanckou is the author of several prize-winning novels, including Mémoires de porc-épic (Memoirs of a Porcupine). Blue White Red is winner of the Grand Prix Littéraire de l'Afrique Noire. He is Professor of French and Francophone Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.Alison Dundy lives in New York City and works as a librarian, archivist, and translator. She has also translated Sony Labou Tansi's Life and a Half (IUP, 2011).
 
Published April 28, 2010 by Soft Skull Press. 178 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Broken Glass

Kirkus Reviews

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The unreliable narrator is, of course, a venerable figure in European and American fiction, especially of the postmodern sort, and the kind of literary brinksmanship that results in a novel that’s constructed entirely from very long run-on sentences is also familiar.

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The Guardian

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Munching on his bicycle chicken (apparently a Congolese term for scrawny poultry), Broken Glass - the eponymous narrator - tells us the story of the bar he frequents: the Credit Gone Away, owned by his friend, the Stubborn Snail, who has helpfully provided Broken Glass with a notebook to chronicl...

Feb 21 2009 | Read Full Review of Broken Glass

The Bookbag

Unfortunately, though, there were too many stories which for various reasons didn’t interest me as much as these – a particular offender being the story of a man and a woman involved in a urination contest – and by the end the style was too much for me to last long, resorting to putting the book ...

Dec 04 2014 | Read Full Review of Broken Glass

Bookmarks Magazine

But Broken Glass fails spectacularly at staying out of trouble as one denizen after another wants to rewrite history in an attempt at making sure his portrayal will properly reflect their exciting and dynamic lives.

Jul 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Broken Glass

Open Salon

Mulligan Stew by…” June 27, 2009 03:38PM “I got me one of these as soon as I got here and it rocks - thanx Ric” June 19, 2009 03:58PM “I think we both know what's going on here.

Apr 10 2010 | Read Full Review of Broken Glass

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