Book Review: Alain Mabanckou tackles mental health and the life of orphans in the arresting 'Black Moses' - The Sauce
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Book Review: Alain Mabanckou tackles mental health and the life of orphans in the arresting ‘Black Moses’

Life is not a bed of roses for Tokumisa Nzambe po Mose yamoyindo abotami namboka ya Bakoko.

Alain Mabanckou’s 14th book ‘Black Moses’ is centered around the life of Tokumisa Nzambe po Mose yamoyindo abotami namboka ya Bakoko. A young boy abandoned on the steps of the Loango Orphanage, he learns about life from his interactions with loving women who take interest in him and cruel, complex men who quickly tear him down; except for one. From his strange yet unforgettable name, Tokumisa Nzambe po Mose yamoyindo abotami namboka ya Bakoko finds that his life is different from any other. More importantly, his circumstances lead him down a path, not even he expected.

Full of social satire, and commentary on the Democratic Republic of Congo, the book is an exposition on the social welfare system and the effects of the poor, rundown state have on the life of its young, old and helpless citizenry. For readers intrigued by the past of various African states, and the African rationale on mental health; this book offers some great context and details.

The book was released in 2015 and is the 14th from UCLA professor. A literary great, Alain is best known for his novels and non-fiction writing depicting the experience of contemporary Africa and the African diaspora in France.

The book is longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize.

It receives a 3.9/5 rating.

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