Small Country by Gaël Faye

Small Country

A prize-winning bestseller in its native France, a vivid and evocative coming-of-age tale, set against the backdrop of the Rwandan genocide and the civil war in Burundi, of a young boy's childhood innocence shattered by the brutal tides of history.In 1992, Gabriel, ten years old, lives in Burundi in a comfortable expatriate neighborhood with his French father, his Rwandan mother and his little sister, Ana. In this joyful idyll, Gabriel spends the...

Details Small Country

TitleSmall Country
Release DateJun 5th, 2018
PublisherHogarth Press
GenreFiction, Cultural, Africa, France, Historical, Historical Fiction, War

Reviews Small Country

  • Diane S ☔
    This almost feels like two different stories, and in a way it is just that. The first part features a ten year old boy, Gabby, his sister And, his mother who was from Rwanda and his father, who is a French ex pat. It is marked by the innocence of youth, of being able to live a somewhat privileged life in a safe community. His days spent playing with his friends, their rivalry with a boy named Frances, his only worry the disintegrating relationshi...
  • Taryn
    War always takes it upon itself, unsolicited, to find us an enemy. I wanted to remain neutral, but I couldn’t. I was born with this story. It ran in my blood. I belonged to it. 3.5 Stars. A coming-of-age tale set during the Burundian Civil War. Ten-year-old Gabriel lives in Burundi with his Rwandan mother and French father. He has a normal childhood in his beautiful homeland until the horrors of war arrive in his neighborhood. Gabriel wants to ...
  • Orsodimondo
    PARADISO PERDUTOIl paradiso perduto è quello del piccolo Gaby, la spensieratezza dell’infanzia, fino ai dodici anni, perduta quando la paura e la morte arrivano d'improvviso alla porta, costringendolo, proprio come è successo a Gaël Faye, a lasciare il suo paese natale, il Burundi, per trasferirsi in Francia.L’illusione della felicità che si sbriciola quando la realtà irrompe col suo tremendo carico di morte e violenza.Un brusco passaggi...
  • Aviones de papel
    Bufff, no me quedan lágrimas, me ha roto el alma, es un libro durísimo pero necesario, porque es de esos que les da voz a la guerra, a la muerte y a la injusticia, a todos aquellos que no son más que una cifra en el noticiario. Es poético y desgarrador, es algo muy especial que nadie debería perderse, porque desde pequeños siempre nos han dicho que tenemos que estar felices y agradecidos de nacer en el sitio que hemos nacido y bla bla bla, ...
  • Faith
    This short book is written in the form of a memoir by the 33 year old Gabriel who is now living in France. The story is set in Burundi during 1992 and 1993 when Gabriel aged 10/11 is living in an expat neighborhood with his younger sister Ana and their French father Michel and Rwandan (Tutsi) mother Yvonne. This is the second book I've read this month about the genocide in Rwanda. The first book (nonfiction) told me that it was the Belgians who h...
  • Ellinor
    I‘ve seldom read a book that touched and moved me as much as Small Country. Told from the perspective of a young boy, it brings to life a bit of African history which is so terrible it once mad international front page news but now seems quite forgotten: the genocide of the Tutsi in Burundi and Rwanda. Small Country talks of broken dreams, a stolen childhood, masses of innocents lives taken in the most brutal ways and a hatred which is profound...
  • Maxwell
    It had moments that were very compelling, but the overall story was disjointed and felt incomplete. There wasn't anything particularly special about the writing; it was a fine translation. I do think it's cool that the author is a musician, and I definitely want to check out his work.
  • prettybooks
    17/20Il m’a fallu m’accrocher au départ, à cette période de la vie où rien ne se passe si ce n’est l’enfance, et puis la guerre arrive, la violence, la mort. Ce livre est très fort, marquant aussi. Il m’a peut-être manqué un peu d’émotion dans l’écriture mais c’est définitivement une lecture dont on ressort un peu différent. Qui nous fait prendre conscience de la réalité de la guerre et d’un pays oublié.Ma chroniqu...
  • Emma
    Ce livre est absolument magnifique et m'a fait passer par toute une gamme d'émotions au fil de ma lecture. Pendant toute la première partie, on se sent transporté au Burundi, on a vraiment l'impression de ressentir la moiteur, d'entendre les crapauds et de goûter les mangues (Petit Pays m'a d'ailleurs filé une sacrée fringale de mangues), l'insouciance de l'enfance est magnifiquement bien décrite, même si, déjà, à l'arrière-plan, les ...
  • Claire McAlpine
    Once I got into the rhythm of this, which is to say, reading in French, and getting past the need to look up too many new words, I couldn't put this down, by the time I found my own reading rhythm, the life of Gaby and his sister Ana, his parents, his friends had its claws in me and I had to know what was going to happen next.The book starts with Gaby reflecting on a conversation with his father, a turning point in his understanding of the ethnic...
  • Paul
    Small Country is a beautiful book that is filled with perfectly drawn anecdotes that tie Gaby's young life together. It is a powerful story that tells of a world that can be raw and bleak yet full of innocence. I can see why this novel is so popular in France and can predict it will have many fans here in the US. Highly recommended.Btw I wrote this review while streaming Faye’s music. I really like his songs too.Thank you to NetGalley, Crown Pu...
  • Laura
    No huh.Tämä oli mieletön, vahva ja voimakas kuvaus pienestä pojasta, joka elää pienessä maassa suurten ja kammottavien tapahtumien keskellä. Burundin ja Ruandan verinen lähihistoria tulee iholle, ja vaikka paikoin toivoin tältä kirjalta hieman syvällisempää käsittelytapaa, toi se lopulta omalla vähäeleisyydellään koko tarinan iholle.Mieletön kirja, jolle toivoisin suurta ja vahvaa näkyvyyttä myös Suomessa.
  • Makis Dionis
    21ος αιώνας κ ο κόσμος εξακολουθεί να είναι υποταγμένος στα αγελαια ένστικτά του. Να παίρνει εκδίκηση και να θέλει να επικρατεί επί πτωμάτων. Πεδίο μαχών η Ρουάντα και το Μπουρούντι. Χούτου και Τούτσι.Ωστόσο δεν πρέπει να αμφιβάλλουμε για την ομορ...
  • Peter
    AbhorrenceIn this emotionally charged book, Gaël Faye carefully navigates through a modern time where human depravity almost touches the bottom of the abyss. Unfortunately, it seems our nature and society will always throw up cases of cruelty but when a systematic national directive incites genocide, can we continue to describe this as human? In 1994 the racial tensions between Hutu and Tutsi made global news for the brutal massacre of Tutsis by...
  • Maghily
    Difficile de trouver les mots pour parler de ce roman, magnifique et bouleversant. L'écriture de Gaël Faye est très belle, emplie de poésie et de jolies analogies. Je ne peux que vous conseiller cette lecture, qui m'a subjuguée !
  • Mai Laakso
    Heti ensimmäisistä lauseista rakastuin tähän ranskalais-burundilaisen Gaël Fayen esikoisromaaniin Pienen pieni maa. Solahdin lumoutuneena Afrikkaan mangopuiden alle maistelemaan herkullisen meheviä mangoja, joita kirjan päähenkilö 11-vuotias Gaby poimi puista ystäviensä kanssa, no varastivat lähitalojen pihapuista.Gabyn isä oli ranskalainen ja äiti ruandalainen. Äidin perhe oli jo pitkään asunut pakolaisena Burundissa. Gaby tunsi...
  • Valerie
    Cela faisait longtemps que je n'avais pas ressenti un sentiment si paradoxal de lecture: entre poesie et description factuelle mélangeant la fragilité d'enfants à la réalité d'un conflit ethnique. Les phrases sont simples avec peu de subordonnées, donnant au texte cette candeur d'enfants. On s'attache au Burundi et aux habitants de cette impasse à travers les yeux de Gaby, qui avec sensibilité, comprend ce qui est entrain de se passer dan...
  • Kate Olson
    Definitely an eye-opening look at international events that I know little about.......I can't say I yet truly understand everything, but this novel helped give me more insight into the horrendous events in these African countries. Not a pleasant or happy read, by any means!
  • Lisa
    This slender debut novel is about a boy's idyllic life in his "small country" of Burandi (which neighbors Rwanda) and the abrupt end of his childhood with the onset of civil war and genocide. Beautifully written and potent.
  • Shannon A
    This is the story of Gabriel, a young man coming of age in a country on the edge of war; while at home his parents suddenly get divorced. Gabriel and his friends who once ruled the neighborhood are starting to drift in different directions, just as he starts to question what he believes and what he's been told. These changes take him down a different path; will his choice protect him from the realities that surround him? This is one of the most b...
  • Jennifer Jimenez
    My real rating is a 4.5, but I rounded up to 5 because the only thing holding it backed was my bias! (explained below)This story is definitely a slow fire. The beginning is a lot of build up and set up while we get introduced to the narrator's friends, family, and neighborhood. There was a lot of telling and not showing that bothered me a little, but upon finishing the book, I didn't mind it as much. I'm really glad all of that build up was there...
  • AdiTurbo
    Deep and senseless hatred and racism bring about one of the worst massacres of the 20th century. In just three months, the Hutu in Rwanda manage to slaughter most of the members of the Tutsi tribe in their country. What started with much hope for democracy, freedom and equality ended in a bloodbath, with the war soon drifting over to neighboring Burundi. This is where Gabriel, Gabby, lives. He is the son of a French father and a Tutsi mother. Aft...
  • Noémie
    Comme dis mon copain c'est joyeux et triste à la fois ton histoire. Mais qu'est-ce que c'est bien écrit!
  • Alex
    I am really happy that I decided to read more books which won the Goncourt Prize of the Highschools. The winning book is chosen by pupils, so they should be good. Most of the time, my opinions are very different to the opinions of professional literature critics. I have already read Guenassia's "Club of the incorrigible optimists" (2009 Prize) and I loved it. Gael Faye's "Petit pays" (2016 prize) makes no exception. Faye's writing is simple yet c...
  • Huy
    Cuốn sách xúc động dù là tiểu thuyết nhưng chân thật như một cuốn hồi ký viết về một đất nước trong thời li loạn mà dường như bị cả thế giới phớt lờ.
  • Pedro Casserly
    Pequeño país se refiere a Burundi "el país que está más allá de Ruanda"; allí nació y vivió Gael Faye hasta su radicación en Francia durante la adolescencia . Podría calificarse como novela de iniciación, en este caso con el trasfondo de la violencia política que afectó a su país, como réplica de la atroz guerra civil de Ruanda entre hutus y tutsies. No es la primera novela que da testimonio de las duras realidades de un país, pe...
  • Mariaelena Di Gennaro
    "Quel pomeriggio, per la prima volta nella mia vita, sono entrato nella realtà profonda del paese. Ho scoperto l'antagonismo tra hutu e tutsi, invalicabile linea di demarcazione che obbligava ciascuno a schierarsi da una parte o dall'altra. Ci nascevi, di una certa parte, e allo stesso modo in cui viene attribuito un nome a un bambino, quella parte ti inseguiva per sempre. Hutu o tutsi. O l'uno o l'altro.O testa o croce. Come un cieco che recupe...
  • Amanda NEVER MANDY
    Review to come.
  • Bloody Mary
    Γεύση από ζουμερά μάνγκο και μπύρα μπανάνας, αεράκι πλημμυρισμένο από άρωμα σιτρονέλας, γκουάβας και πλουμέριας, ζωηρά τιτιβίσματα από υφαντές και τουράκο, εικόνες από κολίμπρι που μαζεύουν νέκταρ από κόκκινους ιβίσκους... Κι εμένα καλέ μου Γκάμ...