An international sensation (sold in thirty territories to date), this debut from a French-Rwandan ex-investment banker turned hip hop artist is a beautiful but harrowing coming-of-age tale
French-Rwandan Gael Faye is an author, composer and hip hop
artist. He was born in 1982 in Burundi, and has a Rwandan mother
and French father. In 1995, after the outbreak of the civil war and
the Rwandan genocide, the family moved to France. Gael studied
finance and worked in London for two years for an investment fund,
then he left London to embark on a career of writing and music.
He is as influenced by Creole literature as he is by hip hop culture, and released an album in 2010 with the group Milk Coffee & Sugar. In 2013, his first solo album, Pili Pili sur un Croissant au Beurre, appeared. It was recorded between Bujumbura and Paris, and is filled with a plethora of musical influences- rap laced with soul and jazz, semba, Congolese rumba... In 2018 he received the prestigious Victoires de la Musique Award.
Small Country is his first novel. It was a huge bestseller in France, winning the Prix Goncourt des Lyceens 2016, and is being published in thirty territories worldwide.
"an excellent novel, a model of restraint and quiet literary
sophistication" * Sunday Times *
"[A] luminous debut novel... This is a book that demanded to be written... With a light touch, Faye dramatises the terrible nostalgia of having lost not only a childhood but also a whole world to war" -- Nadifa Mohamed * Guardian *
"An evocative portrait of what it means to lose one's freedom and innocence. Gael Faye's literary powers lie in his unbridled honesty and his effortless prose. He is a writer of great promise and grace" -- Chigozie Obioma, author of The Fishermen
"Unforgettable... Gael Faye's talent is breathtaking; no country that can give the world a writer like him should ever be called small" -- Imbolo Mbue, author of Behold the Dreamers
"as beautiful as it is painful... It's easy to see why it set the French literary scene alight. This is one you won't be abandoning in the hotel library when you leave." -- Sam Baker * The Pool *