In “Tomorrow I’ll be Twenty” (Serpent’s Tail, 2013), his latest novel to be published in English, the Franco-Congolese adds tenderness to his signature ironic tone. Through Michel, his young alter ego, Mabanckou mischievously recalls his childhood in the port-city of Pointe-Noire, on the Atlantic coast of Congo-Brazzaville. Michel is caught in a whirl of minor events he describes with touching candor: the hiccups in his love relationship with Caroline, the witch tricks of Ousmane the Senegalese shopkeeper, the unfairness of the teacher’s ranking system… But Michel is also concerned with the stories he hears through his father’s radio, from the exile of Iran’s Shah to the craze of Uganda’s Idi Amin. Domestic and historic events intermingle hilariously in “Tomorrow I’ll be Twenty”, offering a moving depiction of how it was like to grow up in Africa in the late seventies.
You are here: / Archives for Tomorrow I will be Twenty