Tomorrow I'll be Twenty, Paperback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Finalist for the Man Booker International Prize 2015 Michel is ten years old, living in Pointe Noire, Congo, in the 1970s.

His mother sells peanuts at the market, his father works at the Victory Palace Hotel, and brings home books left behind by the white guests.

Planes cross the sky overhead, and Michel and his friend Lounes dream about the countries where they'll land.

While news comes over the radio of the American hostage crisis in Tehran, the death of the Shah, the scandal of the Boukassa diamonds, Michel struggles with the demands of his twelve year old girlfriend Caroline, who threatens to leave him for a bully in the football team.

But most worrying for Michel, the witch doctor has told his mother that he has hidden the key to her womb, and must return it before she can have another child.

Somehow he must find it. Tomorrow I'll Be Twenty is a humorous and poignant account of an African childhood, drawn from Alain Mabanckou's life.




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"When I'm on the road to happiness, then I'll know that I've finally grown up, that I'm twenty at last", October 31, 2014This review is from: Tomorrow I'll Be Twenty (Kindle Edition)Enjoyable first-person narrative, by a young Congolese lad on the verge of starting secondary school. It's the 1970s, and as Michel observes his uncle spouting Marxist ideology, he sees to the hypocrisy of a man determined to hang on to his wealth. The current affairs items that probably went largely unnoticed by European kids - Idi Amin, Bokassa etc - feature significantly in the mind of one living 'just over the border'.But most of Michel's life is concerned with his own life - father with two wives (though when he goes to stay ewith the 'other family' he notes "This is my home too, my sisters and brothers never say that Papa Roger's my foster father, they consider me their real brother.")First love (and his rival, the local football star); school; and family arguments as his mother yearns for another child and decides to visit a fetisher...I really liked it.

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