Adult Fiction ABANI
Summary: "Not since Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird or Agota Kristof's Notebook Trilogy has there been such a harrowing novel about what it's like to be a young person in a war. That Chris Abani is able to find humanity, mercy, and even, yes, forgiveness, amid such devastation is something of a miracle."--Rebecca Brown, author of The End of Youth "The moment you enter these pages, you step into a beautiful and terrifying dream. You are in the hands of a master, a literary shaman. Abani casts his spell so completely--so devastatingly--you emerge cleansed, redeemed, and utterly haunted."--Brad Kessler, author of Birds in Fall Part Inferno , part Paradise Lost , and part Sunjiata epic, Song for Night is the story of a West African boy soldier's lyrical, terrifying, yet beautiful journey through the nightmare landscape of a brutal war in search of his lost platoon. The reader is led by the voiceless protagonist who, as part of a land mine-clearing platoon, had his vocal chords cut, a move to keep these children from screaming when blown up, and thereby distracting the other minesweepers. The book is written in a ghostly voice, with each chapter headed by a line of the unique sign language these children invented. This book is unlike anything else ever written about an African war. Chris Abani is a Nigerian poet and novelist and the author of The Virgin of Flames , Becoming Abigail (a New York Times Editor's Choice), and GraceLand (a selection of the Today Show Book Club and winner of the 2005 PEN/Hemingway Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award). His other prizes include a PEN Freedom to Write Award, a Prince Claus Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. He lives and teaches in California.
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Leader of a platoon of mine sweepers; had his vocal cords severed at the age of 12; witnessed his mother's murder; journeying to find the rest of his platoon after being separated by an explosion.