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In the United States of Africa


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Table of Contents

ForewordPart 1. A Voyage to Asmara, the Federal CapitalPart 2. A Voyage to the Heart of the StudioPart 3. A Voyage to Paris, FrancePart 4. Return to Asmara

About the Author

Abdourahman A. Waberi was born in Djibouti in 1965 and has lived in France since 1985. He has published numerous books, articles, and stories. His first collection of short stories, Le Pays Sans Ombre (published in English as The Land without Shadows) won Belgium's Royal Academy of French Language and Literature Grand Prix. J. M. G. Le Clezio recognized and paid tribute to Waberi in his 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature lecture. David and Nicole Ball, both independent translators in Northampton, Massachusetts, have published several translations separately, as well as together, including Lascaux: A Work of Memory. David Ball won the Modern Language Association's prize for literary translation in 1996. Percival Everett, professor of creative writing at the University of California-Riverside, is the author of many novels, including, most recently, The Water Cure.


"Djibouti-born Waberi's brief and concentrated tale-part satire, part fable, part fever-dream-imagines the world turned upside down: a war rages between Quebec and the American Midwest, and all of "Euramerica" is a dark, barbaric hellhole. In the United States of Africa, however... peace and prosperity reign... It's there that a dreamy, restless young artist named Maya ponders her history... Waberi manages to convince of the power of art and love to heal very real rifts."-Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly "Writing in French, Waberi-born in Djibouti, but a longtime resident of France-satirizes commonly-held assumptions about the global political and economic order by imagining what things might be like if Africa were to swap places with the West... In David and Nicole Ball's translation, Waberi's prose reads as both riotously funny and lyrically lush, offering big laughs as well as multifaceted subtleties of expression."-Ryan Michael Williams, -- Ryan Michael Williams "In the United States of Africa is not a simple book. It's not a fun-filled romp in an imagined world turned on its head. It is a very accomplished novel though, one that definitely deserves to be part of the "French Voices" series, and that the University of Nebraska should be admired for bringing out."-Chad W. Post, Three Percent -- Chad W. Post Three Percent "In the United States of Africa, winner of the French Voices Award, is a splendid learning opportunity for readers in the US and Europe... This winning, witty novel will help turn a flat globe, on which some people believe only the northern hemisphere is of any importance, into a round world where north and south are equally beautiful, heroic, and historic."-Barbara Ardinger, ForeWord Magazine -- Barbara Ardinger ForeWord Magazine "The world Waberi creates in his new novel may be entirely driven by the question of "what if", but it has the natural and wonderful effect of making the reader re-examine what is. Waberi's keen powers of empathy, his sharp wisdom and his beautiful prose make him one of the most exciting and original African writers working today."-Laila Lalami, -- Laila Lalami "This brief, sternly loving book is by turns troubling, exhilarating, frustrating and oddly satisfying. Recommended to all those concerned with the world we live in-and ones we might otherwise live in, as well as people inhabiting both."-Jim Lee, Tales of the Talisman -- Jim Lee Tales of the Talisman

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