Powell’s Books – Review-a-Day – Allah Is Not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma, reviewed by Rain Taxi

Powell’s Books – Review-a-Day – Allah Is Not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma, reviewed by Rain Taxi: “First published in Paris in 2000 as Allah n’est pas obligé, and now arriving in the U.S. for the first time, Ahmadou Kourouma’s final novel is the harrowing story of a child soldier in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia in the 1990s. It is a story of adult atrocities perceived (and committed) by a child, but ultimately it is something other than that, a fiction that shows how fiction can — and, perhaps, should — fall apart when asked to bear the weight of the real horrors of the world.
Though his four novels are as yet almost unknown within the United States, Kourouma’s reputation in France is strong, and he received various awards before his death in December 2003. Born in 1927 in Côte d’Ivoire, he spent time during his childhood in Guinea and Mali before going to France for school and later to Indochina as a soldier with the French colonial army. He returned to Côte d’Ivoire after it gained independence in 1960, but, after clashing with the new government and being imprisoned, ended up in exile in Algeria, Cameroon, and Togo before once again returning in the 1980s to his home. “

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