Quotes by Ahmadou Kourouma

"The ultimate affront, that neither hurries, grows weary nor forgets, is called death."
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"C'est dommage qu'on connaît pas ce qu'a été le monde avant la naissance. Parce qu'après trente ans dans la merde et des odeurs, les fumées, les douleurs, les larmes, il restait encore quelque chose de merveilleux dans le creux de son visage. Quand le creux du visage ne débordait pas de larmes, il s'éclairait d'une lueur. Quelque chose comme une perle perdue, ébréchée. Une beauté pourrie comme l'ulcère de sa jambe droite, une lueur qui se voyait plus dans la fumée et les odeurs de la case."
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"Des soldats, des enfants-soldats se sont joints à eux. Tout ce monde s'est réuni, s'est mis en cercle, et ça a organisé un concert de pleurs. Tout ce monde s'est mis à pleurer. Un groupe de bandits de grand chemin, de criminels de la pire espèce, pleurer comme ça. Il fallat voir ça, ça valait le détour."
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"Moi alors j'ai commencé à ne rien comprendre à ce foutu univers. À ne rien piger à ce bordel de monde. Rien saisir de cette saloperie de société humaine. Tête Brûlée avec les fétiches venait de conquérir Niangbo ! C'est vrai ou ce n'est pas vrai, cette saloperie de grigri ? Qui peut me répondre ? Où aller chercher la réponse ? Nulle part. Donc c'est peut-être vrai, le grigri... ou c'est peut-être faux, du bidon, de la tricherie tout le long et large de l'Afrique. A faforo (cul de mon père) !"
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Books by Ahmadou Kourouma

  • Monnew
  • 72 ratings
  • July 1st 1992 by Mercury House

    (first published 1990)

Ahmadou Kourouma
  • Ahmadou Kourouma

  • Date of birth: November 24, 1927
  • Died: December 11, 2003
  • Born: in Boundiali, Cote D'ivoire.

  • Description: Ahmadou Kourouma, (November 24, 1927 – December 11, 2003) was an Ivorian novelist.
    The eldest son of a distinguished Malinké family, Ahmadou Kourouma was born in 1927 in Côte d'Ivoire. Raised by his uncle, he initially pursued studies in Bamako, Mali. From 1950 to 1954, when his country was still under French colonial control, he participated in French military campaigns in Indochina, after which he journeyed to France to study mathematics in Lyon.
    Kourouma returned to his native Côte d'Ivoire after it won its independence in 1960, yet he quickly found himself questioning the government of Félix Houphouët-Boigny. After brief imprisonment, Kourouma spent several years in exile, first in Algeria (1964-1969), then in Cameroon (1974-1984) and Togo (1984-1994), before finally returning to live in Côte d'Ivoire.
    Determined to speak out against the betrayal of legitimate African aspirations at the dawn of independence, Kourouma was drawn into an experiment in fiction, his first novel, Les soleils des indépendances (The Suns of Independence, 1970). Les soleils des indépendances contains a critical treatment of post-colonial governments in Africa. Twenty years later, his second book Monnè, outrages et défis, a history of a century of colonialism, was published. In 1998, he published En attendant le vote des bêtes sauvages, (translated as Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote), a satire of post colonial Africa in the style of Voltaire in which a griot recounts the story of a tribal hunter's transformation into a dictator, inspired by president Gnassingbé Eyadéma of Togo. In 2000, he published Allah n'est pas obligé (translated as Allah is Not Obliged), a tale of an orphan who becomes a child soldier when traveling to visit his aunt in Liberia.
    At the outbreak of civil war in Côte d'Ivoire in 2002, Kourouma stood against the war as well as against the concept of Ivorian nationalism, calling it "an absurdity which has led us to chaos." President Laurent Gbagbo accused him of supporting rebel groups from the north of the country.
    In France, each of Ahmadou Kourouma's novels has been greeted with great acclaim, sold exceptionally well, and been showered with prizes including Prix Renaudot in year 2000 and The Prix Goncourt des Lycéens for Allah n'est pas obligé . In the English-speaking world, Kourouma has yet to make much of an impression: despite some positive reviews, his work remains largely unknown outside college classes in African fiction.
    At the time of his death, he was working on a sequel to Allah n'est pas obligé, entitled Quand on refuse on dit non (translated roughly as When One Disagrees, One Says No), in which the protagonist of the first novel, a child soldier, is demobilized and returns to his home in Côte d'Ivoire, in which a new regional conflict has arisen.

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