HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Small Country: A Novel by Gaël Faye
Loading...

Small Country: A Novel (original 2016; edition 2019)

by Gaël Faye (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4393048,493 (4.05)32
Already an international sensation and prize-winning bestseller in France, an evocative coming-of-age story of a young boy, a lost childhood and a shattered homeland.   SHORTLISTED FOR THE ALBERTINE PRIZE * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ESQUIRE * LONGLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION * LONGLISTED FOR THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE   Burundi, 1992. For ten-year-old Gabriel, life in his comfortable expatriate neighborhood of Bujumbura with his French father, Rwandan mother and little sister Ana, is something close to paradise.   These are carefree days of laughter and adventure - sneaking Supermatch cigarettes and gorging on stolen mangoes - as he and his mischievous gang of friends transform their tiny cul-de-sac into their kingdom.   But dark clouds are gathering over this small country, and soon their peaceful existence will shatter when Burundi, and neighboring Rwanda, are brutally hit by civil war and genocide.   A novel of extraordinary power and beauty, Small Country describes an end of innocence as seen through the eyes of a child caught in the maelstrom of history. Shot through with shadows and light, tragedy and humor, it is a stirring tribute not only to a dark chapter in Africa's past, but also to the bright days that preceded it.… (more)
Member:tjblue
Title:Small Country: A Novel
Authors:Gaël Faye (Author)
Info:Hogarth (2019), Edition: Translation, 192 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work Information

Small Country by Gaël Faye (2016)

  1. 00
    Bakhita by Véronique Olmi (Anonymous user)
  2. 00
    Echoues (les) by Pascal Manoukian (Anonymous user)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 32 mentions

English (20)  French (7)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Triste ( )
  Alvaritogn | Jul 1, 2022 |
I have a limited understanding of Rwanda and the horrors during the 1990s genocide but, I was aware of the scope of violence during the time period. So, even though it’s right there – printed on the jacket of the book – I was still completely gutted when the events make an appearance in this book.

“Small Country” is set in Burundi, a small country neighboring Rwanda and tells the story of Gabriel and his boyhood antics just before war and violence break out. He’s a mischievous yet kind-hearted kid who’s coming-of-age process gets brutally interrupted in an irreversible way. I was a blubbering mess at the end of this book. ( )
  MC_Rolon | Jun 15, 2022 |
[b:Small Country|36750086|Small Country|Gaël Faye|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1524233627l/36750086._SY75_.jpg|51166978] can be a bit of a rough read at times - a little too linear, a little too engaged with details that feel frivolous at times. But the linearity is an asset in context - the second the time frame (early 90s) and the setting (Burundi and Rwanda) come into focus the novel turns into a car crash in slow motion. You can't look away but you know how it ends. God bless their souls. ( )
  eshaundo | Sep 13, 2021 |
A boy growing up in Burundi comes to recognize the horror of war and hate--but he never understands it.

Gaby is around 10 at the start of the story, his sister a few years younger. His mother is a Tutsi from Rwanda, she fled during the previous Rwandan war. His father is French. His neighborhood consists of other mixed children, an elderly Greek woman, a slightly older boy who is cruel, and servants who come from more dangerous neighborhoods.

After the latest Rwandan conflict, her mother goes looking for her siblings and their children, some of whom were to stay in Burundi in just a few months. When she finally returns, she is a ghost of herself. As the war spreads into Burundi, Gaby starts seeing the atrocities, but desperately wants to stay a child. His friends ("friends") won't let him. His father gets he and his sister seats to France, but stays himself. Gaby does not return until he is an adult.

The author was also born in Burundi to a French father and Rwandan mother, but (per the bio) his entire family fled to France, where he still lives. I am very curious how much of this story is autofiction, how much is simply informed by what he saw and experienced, and how much is fiction. ( )
  Dreesie | Aug 2, 2021 |
I am indebted to Claire from Word by Word for my introduction to this remarkable book. Like me, Claire is not a native speaker of French, and her review was encouraging and so I decided to try it. Unlike my last attempt at reading in French, Petit Pays (Small Country) was easy. I found myself really reading in French, that is, not translating into English as I went along, and I rarely needed to use the dictionary. This is possibly because the book won the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens: it's a book for young people:
The Prix Goncourt des Lycéens is a French literary award created in 1987 as a sort of younger sibling of Prix Goncourt, a prestigious prize for French language literature. The ten members of the Académie Goncourt select twelve literary works as nominees. Some two thousand lycée (roughly equivalent to high school) students read all twelve novels, participate in discussions and debates about them, and ultimately vote on the winner. (Wikipedia, lightly edited to remove links, viewed 29/1/21)
Petit Pays, is not, however, light reading. It's a coming of age story, set in the turbulent period of the Rwandan genocide, (1994) which spilled over into neighbouring countries. The narrator, Gaby, looks back on his childhood in Bujumbara in Burundi, when he was ten years old. When the story begins he is living a privileged life in a quiet suburb, messing about and getting into mischief with his mates, Gino, Armand and the (unnamed) twins. His only concern is the state of his parents marriage, which is falling apart.

His mother is Rwandan, his father is a French expat in the civil service. Michel is very comfortable enjoying a lifestyle he could not have in France, while Yvonne is unmoored. She, her mother and grandmother have left Rwanda because of previous inter-ethnic conflict, and while she dreams of what she thinks is a French paradise, she also misses her family still in Rwanda, especially her sister Eusébie. Gaby doesn't like his mother's refusal to let him learn the local language, and he's not interested in her nostalgic stories about Rwanda. He just wants to fit in.

By Christmas of that year the parents have separated, and Gaby spends it with his father while his little sister Ana goes with Maman to stay with Aunt Eusébie in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Gaby becomes more aware that he is an outsider in his own country when his new bike is stolen and he can't speak the local language to negotiate for its return. He also realises the social and economic gulf between the life of privilege that he leads, and the poverty everywhere else. By eavesdropping on adult conversations he learns that his Rwandan neighbours had escaped killings, massacres, war, pogroms, destruction, fires, tsetse flies and apartheid, but in Burundi they have new problems: poverty, exclusion, quotas, xenophobia, rejection, scapegoating, depression, homesickness and nostalgia.

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2021/01/30/petit-pays-small-country-by-gael-faye/ ( )
  anzlitlovers | Jan 29, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaël Fayeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ardizzone, SarahTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dompè, MaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
Pour Jacqueline.
First words
Je ne sais vraiment pas comment cette histoire a commencé.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Already an international sensation and prize-winning bestseller in France, an evocative coming-of-age story of a young boy, a lost childhood and a shattered homeland.   SHORTLISTED FOR THE ALBERTINE PRIZE * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ESQUIRE * LONGLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION * LONGLISTED FOR THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE   Burundi, 1992. For ten-year-old Gabriel, life in his comfortable expatriate neighborhood of Bujumbura with his French father, Rwandan mother and little sister Ana, is something close to paradise.   These are carefree days of laughter and adventure - sneaking Supermatch cigarettes and gorging on stolen mangoes - as he and his mischievous gang of friends transform their tiny cul-de-sac into their kingdom.   But dark clouds are gathering over this small country, and soon their peaceful existence will shatter when Burundi, and neighboring Rwanda, are brutally hit by civil war and genocide.   A novel of extraordinary power and beauty, Small Country describes an end of innocence as seen through the eyes of a child caught in the maelstrom of history. Shot through with shadows and light, tragedy and humor, it is a stirring tribute not only to a dark chapter in Africa's past, but also to the bright days that preceded it.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (4.05)
0.5
1
1.5
2 3
2.5 2
3 15
3.5 9
4 55
4.5 12
5 29

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 176,789,145 books! | Top bar: Always visible