The harrowing, utterly original debut novel by Uzodinma Iweala about the life of a child soldier in a war-torn African country now a critically-acclaimed Netflix original film directed by Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) and starring Idris Elba (Mandela, The Wire).Read more...
The harrowing, utterly original debut novel by Uzodinma Iweala about the life of a child soldier in a war-torn African country now a critically-acclaimed Netflix original film directed by Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) and starring Idris Elba (Mandela, The Wire).
As civil war rages in an unnamed West-African nation, Agu, the school-aged protagonist of this stunning debut novel, is recruited into a unit of guerilla fighters. Haunted by his father s own death at the hands of militants, which he fled just before witnessing, Agu is vulnerable to the dangerous yet paternal nature of his new commander.
While the war rages on, Agu becomes increasingly divorced from the life he had known before the conflict started a life of school friends, church services, and time with his family, still intact. As he vividly recalls these sunnier times, his daily reality continues to spin further downward into inexplicable brutality, primal fear, and loss of selfhood. In a powerful, strikingly original voice, Uzodinma Iweala leads the reader through the random travels, betrayals, and violence that mark Agu s new community. Electrifying and engrossing, Beasts of No Nation announces the arrival of an extraordinary new writer."
Beasts of No Nation
Only 23 years old, Iweala writes with incredible authority about civil war and political upheaval as they sweep across a fictional nation in West Africa. Agu, the narrator of this debut novel, is a young boy when his father is murdered by guerillas, and his mother and sister disappear. The book follows his development from orphaned, innocent bystander into full-blooded killer. Desperate for acceptance, Agu joins a guerilla faction led by a tyrant who encourages his men to murder and rape. In brutal surroundings, Agu fights to survive. Food is scarce, and he is attacked by the army leader. He is also surprised by his own capacity for violence. Yet memories of his family sustain Agu, and despite the horrors that surround him, he still retains hope for the future. As he struggles to find his place in an unwelcoming world, he narrates events in a voice that's unforgettableat once naive and wise, childlike and poetic. Iweala, winner of the New York Public Library's 2006 Young Lions Fiction Award, has a prose style and a narrative vision that are both wonderfully original. This is an accomplished first novel from a promising young author.
A reading group guide is available online at www.harpercollins.com.