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The Shameful State


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About the Author

Sony Labou Tansi (1947-1995) was a Congolese novelist, playwright, and poet whose groundbreaking work transformed postcolonial francophone African literature. He is author of Life and a Half (IUP, 2011).Dominic Thomas is Madeleine L. Letessier Chair in French and Francophone Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.Alain Mabanckou is Professor of French and Francophone Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and the author of several prizewinning novels. He is author of Blue White Red (IUP, 2013).


A magician with words, this African literary giant powerfully enriched world literature. . . . Where does one even begin when it comes to talking about such a genius, someone who was always thinking and rethinking the creative process, theatre, political commitment, and philosophy. * Radio France Internationale *
From the dictator's mouth, it signifies the inhumanity and intolerance-but also fear-of the regime toward those who dare to criticize, question, or oppose it. From the mouth of others, prisoners, the tortured, and those condemned to death, it is the denunciation before the forum of all humanity of all forms of barbarism, racism, humanity's exploitation of other human beings, and all attacks on freedom. -- Janos Riesz * Research in African Literatures *
This book showcases Tansi's incredible talent and his position, even in death, as one of Africa's important voices. * Publishers Weekly *
One part madcap farce, one part chamber of horrors, one part modernist look at the jumbling of political, national and personal narratives, Sony Labou Tansi's The Shameful State is purposeful chaos. . . . One of Africa's greatest authors gives a short, brutal and funny look at his continent's type of dictatorship. * Shelf Awareness *
[Sony Labou Tansi is] one of the leading African writers. * Le Monde *
Mixing surreal violence with pointed political commentary, Tansi uses his linguistic talents to create a narrative that is sadly believable and impossible to ignore. * WORLD LITERATURE TODAY *

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