Posted by: koolwine | December 9, 2018

Guinea-Bissau: The Greats

The guitarist of a 1970s supergroup must come to terms with the death of Dulce, his ex-lover and the singer who catapulted his politically conscious band to fame. He also overhears rumors that Dolce’s husband, the army chief of staff, is planning to stage a coup on the same night as the band’s tribute concert for Dolce.

Country Focus: Guinea-Bissau

The Greats
By Sylvain Prudhomme
Translated by Jessica Moore
Originally published in Paris by Gallimard as Les grands, 2014.
My edition: BookThug, 2017
205 pgs

Genre: Fiction (based on a real hit band, Super Mama Djombo)

About the author: A French novelist, Prudhomme has lived and worked in Cameroon, Nigeria, Burundi and Senegal. Les grands won several literary awards in his native country, as has his most recent book Légende.

World Lit Up Rating:
(On a scale of 1-5, with 1 book = turned off and 5 books = lit up)

Sylvain Prudhomme


Couto would grab her, laughing. Tell her to listen to Tundo’s solo, Armando’s congas. Lift a finger to make her hear one note he played that he was proud of, one note just dissonant enough from the rest of the band, did she hear it, there, that note in the major while everyone else at that moment was in the minor, ah if she could have seen him onstage with his hair his beard his tight pants, ah if she could have known him when he was handsome, she who was happy enough to love him a little now when he was nothing but a washed-up old man.

Esperança didn’t give a damn about his note, didn’t give a damn that he had a beard and wore tight pants.

That she-devil only has to sing for ten seconds and she’s got you again.

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