Boy, Interrupted

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.

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“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