Matapari’s name means trouble, a reference to his unexpected birth. The third born of triplets who were meant to only be twins, Matapari lives up to his name with his mischievous and curious nature. Through his eyes, the unstable politics of his homeland are rendered as both ridiculous and all-too-real.
“Honestly, I was almost never born. Maman left the hospital with me still in her womb. She always swore up and down that she didn’t do it on purpose, forever repeating in her meek voice: How could I have imagined, Matapari my son, that, after the twins came out of my belly, there was a third child tucked away somewhere in there, in the depths of my gut?”
Emmanuel Dongala is a Congolese novelist, poet, and chemist. His books include Little Boys Come from the Stars, The Fire of Origins, and Johnny Mad Dog. He currently teaches at Bard College.
Length: 256 pages
Set in: Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)
Translated by: Val Vinokurov and Joel Rejouis
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