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The Laughing Cry: An African Cock and Bull Story (English and French Edition) Hardcover – April 1, 1987
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
From Publishers Weekly
The author, a former prime minister of Congo-Brazzaville (now the People's Republic of the Congo) who works for UNESCO in Paris, offers a seamless blend of lyric sensuality and finely honed political satire. The narrator of this tale, known only as "Maitre," lives in the capital city of a fictional African country. After a coup d'etat, Daddy, the thug who becomes president, chooses Maitre to become the maitre d'hotel of the presidential palace. However, Maitre is a political innocent who would rather be left alone to carry on his adulterous dalliances, most notably with the fiery Soukali. Still, he is at the center of political action in the country, and he chronicles the monomaniacal leader's "reforms" and the subsequent degeneration of the country. In the end, Maitre's affairs of the heart prove to be both his undoing and his salvation: because Soukali phones him from her job at the Bulgarian embassy, he is denounced as a communist plotter; but he is given safe passage into exile by Daddy's wife, who takes fierce pleasure in cuckolding her husband with the very willing narrator. This superb book, done in fluent translation, should focus much-deserved attention on an author who is virtually unknown in the United States.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“Is the funny bone a literary erogenous zone? Anyone who thinks so will certainly be turned on by Henri Lopes’ The Laughing Cry . . . this writer has the same feel for the literary burlesque that Woody Allen has for the
philosophical kvetch.” —San Francisco Examiner
“Satirical, tender, bawdy, savage, and fi lled with love and hope.” —The Washington Post
“Mr Lopes has both the experience to give his work its grounding in reality and suffi cient distance to give his contempt its cutting edge.” —New York Times Book Review
“Beaumarchais . . . Diderot . . . what on earth, you may ask, has the eighteenth century got to do with a political satire about contemporary Africa? . . . Lopes’ satirical style, with its mixture of ribaldry and cruelty, does hark back to the forthright age of Swift and Voltaire.” —BBC World Service Book Talks
“Superb book . . . done in fluent translation.” —Publishers’ Weekly--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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introduces an imaginary reader: "So go on, turn the page!"(40) This sentence simulates the interaction between the oral performer and the audience. In his writing, Africanisms seem to jostle fo space with metropolitan French expressions. The syntax and structure of sentences are modeled on those of Lingala-an indigenous African language. This novel is not an easy read by any stretch of the imaginaition, but it is replete with invaluable socio-cultural information for readers not familiar with that part of Africa. A must read!