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"Life and a Half is a place and a time of half-death―or, if one prefers, half-life. It is a place where life and death are so entangled that it is no longer possible to distinguish them, or to say what is on the side of the shadow or its obverse." ―Achille Mbembe
"Sony's writing is vivid and inventive... It makes for a powerful and often fascinating if also often frustrating read." ―The Complete Review
"[T]he novel's treatment of the themes of oppression and resistance is universal enough to find echoes throughout the developing world, not just Africa, and the book is as relevant today as it was when originally published." ―Choice
"... a useful reminder of the greater depth of the African canon, and of the literary gems to be found in francophone Africa.... Sony Labou Tansi's Life and a Half seethes with the violence and disappointment of the turbulent post-independence period in his native Congo.... The relentless satire is so angry, and so startling it is not always easy to read―but as his great Congolese successor Alain Mabanckou has written, Life and a Half was one of the 'founders of the new francophone literature'." ―The Times Literary Supplement
Sony Labou Tansi (1947–1995) was a Congolese novelist, playwright, and poet whose groundbreaking work transformed postcolonial francophone African literature.
Alison Dundy translates from French and Italian. She specializes in literature, social sciences, and art.