What happens when a young boy’s life is interrupted by war? Two young classmates, Tarnue, a boy from ‘Monrovia-poor’, and Kou, the cherished daughter of a big man in government, strike up an unlikely, yet instinctual friendship. It is 1989 in Liberia and when civil war comes, day-to-day concerns of school, parental pressure and the luxurious rewards of ice cream and new sneakers irrevocably disappear.
Liberian Saah Millimono’s debut is a moving account of a boy’s life in a time of crisis. Tarnue is at times clear-eyed and wise beyond his years, at others bewildered by the impact of national upheaval on his already challenging existence as Charles Taylor’s forces enter Liberia. Millimono’s is a brave, honest voice. With prose that is authentic and spare, this story of one boy caught up in cataclysmic events is a powerful indictment of the trauma, and the pity, of war.
“A searing, heartbreaking love story set in the civil war years in Liberia. Told in a direct, idiomatic style, the story takes us from the narrator’s difficult childhood years in Monrovia to a meeting with Kou, the beautiful girl who will change his life forever. ”
-Helon Habila, author of Measuring Time
“Saah Millimono’s Boy, Interrupted reads in parts like a reminiscence, and also like a news dispatch from the time of Liberia’s civil war. It is neither. The writing is unaffected, the voice strong and fluent. A compelling debut novel that handles lurid subjects— violence, exploitation, displacement— with a keen sensitivity.”
– Olufemi Terry, winner 2010 Caine Prize for African Writing
Kwani? has always been significantly connected to the Diaspora through the individuals who founded it, and its early contributors. Its seventh issue picks up the idea of leaving and of return, something that has framed the conversations and hybrid identities of many Kwani? writers. Kwani? 07 explores diasporic imaginaries and discourses through fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, history, art, design and social media.