Congo Inc.

9780253031907: Paperback
Release Date: 30th January 2018

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 200

Series Global African Voices

Indiana University Press

Congo Inc.

Bismarck's Testament

Paperback / £16.99

To the sound of machine gun fire and the smell of burning flesh, award-winning author In Koli Jean Bofane leads readers on a perilous, satirical journey through the civil conflict and political instability that have been the logical outcome of generations of rapacious multinational corporate activity, corrupt governance, widespread civil conflict, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation in Africa. Isookanga, a Congolese Pygmy, grows up in a small village with big dreams of becoming rich. His vision of the world is shaped by his exploits in Raging Trade, an online game where he seizes control of the world's natural resources by any means possible: high-tech weaponry, slavery, and even genocide. Isookanga leaves his sleepy village to make his fortune in the pulsating capital Kinshasa, where he joins forces with street children, warlords, and a Chinese victim of globalization in this blistering novel about capitalism, colonialism, and the world haunted by the ghosts of Bismarck and Leopold II. Told with just enough levity to make it truly heartbreaking, Congo Inc. is a searing tale about ecological, political, and economic failure.

I. Lands and Times
II. Who Are You?
III. Paper Tiger
IV. Inaudible Screams
V. Persistent Turmoil
VI. The Women They Kill
VII. The World Is Yours
VIII. Eternal Dragon
IX. Compromise of Principles
X. Please Read the Attached Note
XI. Chance Eloko Pamba
XII. Game Over

In Koli Jean Bofane was born in 1954 in the northern region of what is today the Democratic Republic of Congo and currently resides in Belgium. His novels have received numerous awards, including the Grand Prix littéraire de l’Afrique noire, the Grand Prix du Roman Métis, and the Prix des Cinq continents de la Francophonie.

Marjolijn de Jager is a trilingual (Dutch, English, French), award-winning translator of works by Werewere Liking, Tahar Djaout, Ken Bugul, and Camille Laurens. She also translated Gilbert Gatoré’s The Past Ahead for the Global African Voices series.

Grounded in the lived experience of dynamic characters, this novel mines the multifaceted effects of postcolonialism and globalization on individuals, attesting to the many forms of violence at work in many African countries.

Michelle Bumatay
Beloit College

"An impressive work of the heart of contemporary Africa, and an excellent introduction to the vast country, culture, and history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo."

The Complete Review

"Satirical in a way that magnifies the pain, In Koli Jean Bofane’s writing is scathing and powerful."

Notas Benes, World Literature Today

This scalding indictment of Western interference in Africa should give proponents of pell-mell progress pause.

Publishers Weekly

Humor and horror rival for space on the pages of this novel, which shows why literature and not economics is best-equipped to speak of today's world.

Francois Busnel

A lucid storyline, infused with black humor, nourished with insights, violence, and disenchantment. In Koli Jean Bofane is ruthless.

Elise Lepine

A nightmare tainted with humor.

Yves le Gall
Matricule des Anges

Overflowing with irony, this picaresque novel is not all that far-fetched given the reality in a country that has been at the heart of planetary competition as far back as the ear of Bismarck.

Valerie Marin la Meslee
Le Point