Cover

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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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pp. 4-4

Copyright

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pp. 5-7

Contents

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pp. vii-9

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Translator’s Introduction

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pp. ix-x

Alain Mabanckou’s writing is like a Chinese line drawing. His economy of words is a brushstroke that reveals a subject’s inner and outward character and an aching longing for place. Moki is a village hero in Blue White Red because he becomes a “Parisian,” the title conferred on those who “make it” in Paris. His presence there transforms a village father, who now holds forth in the proper French French of Guy de Maupassant...

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African Migration and African Dandys

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pp. xi-xviii

Alain Mabanckou was born in 1966 in the city of Pointe-Noire in the Republic of Congo. After completing college in the Congo, he studied law in Paris and worked in the field of corporate law. Eventually he abandoned the legal profession and moved to the United States, where he is a professor of French and Francophone studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)...

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Blue White Red-Opening

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pp. 1-14

I’ll manage to get myself out of this.
I don’t know which side the sun rises from or sets anymore. Who will hear my complaints? I’ve completely lost my bearings here. My universe is limited to this isolation I’ve grown accustomed to. Could I have behaved differently? I ended up building a space deep in my heart that isn’t enough for me. I follow deserted paths. I pass through ghost towns. I hear my...

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Part One: The Country

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pp. 15-78

In the beginning, there was the name. A humdrum name. A two-syllable name: Moki . . .
At the beginning, there was that name.
Moki is standing in front of me. I see him again. He’s talking to me. He is giving me instructions. He tells me to take care of the rest with Préfet. Don’t ask him any questions. Just do what he asks me to do. Moki is there, his gaze turned upward...

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Part Two: Paris

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pp. 79-138

I must remember those days.
It’s a must.
I mustn’t let myself be distracted by a single dark cloud of forgetfulness. Everything flows in the slowness of memory. The past is not just a worn-out shadow that walks behind us. It can get ahead of us, precede us, bifurcate, take another path and get lost somewhere. We must find it, lift it on our shoulders...

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Closing

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pp. 139-148

The light dazzled my eyes.
The door is open.
The two silhouettes are in front of me. One tall and one short. A voice asks me to get up and to go into the next room to wash up.
“The charter leaves in exactly three hours, get a move on!”
The charter...

Author

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pp. 168-168