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Publisher's Summary

Already an international sensation and prize-winning best seller in France, an evocative coming-of-age story of a young boy, a lost childhood, and a shattered homeland. 

"I was born with this story. It ran in my blood. I belonged to it."

Burundi, 1992. For 10-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.

©2018 Gaël Faye (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“This beautiful coming-of-age novel expresses a harrowing yearning for kindness and harmony. The result is a vision of the world - not political, but poetic - that attempts a balancing act between both horror and wonder." (Le Figaro)

“Gaël Faye is a revelation. Small Country is a luminous and poignant novel about childhood, war, exile and identity...this is literature at its most powerful.” (Le Parisien Magazine)

“The death of innocence seen through the eyes of Gabriel, our beguiling 11-year-old narrator, is at the heart of this gorgeous first novel... Faye eloquently speaks to the untenable choices, among love of country, family, or survival, that victims in conflict zones are forced to make." (Library Journal)

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