Subjects Freshman Year Reading African American Studies African Studies American Studies Anthropology Art, Film, Music and Architecture Asian Studies Business and Economics Criminology Education Environmental Studies Foreign Language Instructional Materials Gender Studies History Irish Studies Jewish Studies Latin American & Caribbean Studies Law and Legal Studies Literature and Drama Literature in Spanish Media Issues, Journalism and Communication Middle East Studies Native American Studies Philosophy Political Science Psychology Reference Religion Russian and Eastern European Studies Science and Mathematics Sociology Study Aids


E-Newsletters: Click here to be notified of new titles in your field
Click here to request Desk/Exam copies
Freshman Year Reading
View Our Award Winners
Click here to view our Catalogs
Allah is Not Obliged

Allah is Not Obliged

Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!

Order Exam Copy
E-Mail this Page Print this Page
Add This - Allah is Not Obliged

Written by Ahmadou KouroumaAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Ahmadou Kourouma

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
  •  
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • On Sale: May 8, 2007
  • Price: $14.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-307-27957-6 (0-307-27957-X)
Also available as an eBook.
about this book

Winner of the Prix Renadot

“Allah is not obliged to be fair about all the things he does here on earth.”

These are the words of the boy soldier Birahima in the final masterpiece by one of Africa’s most celebrated writers, Ahmadou Kourouma.

When ten-year-old Birahima’s mother dies, he leaves his native village in the Ivory Coast, accompanied by the sorcerer and cook Yacouba, to search for his aunt Mahan. Crossing the border into Liberia, they are seized by rebels and forced into military service. Birahima is given a Kalashnikov, minimal rations of food, a small supply of dope and a tiny wage. Fighting in a chaotic civil war alongside many other boys, Birahima sees death, torture, dismemberment and madness but somehow manages to retain his own sanity. Raw and unforgettable, despairing yet filled with laughter, Allah Is Not Obliged reveals the ways in which children’s innocence and youth are compromised by war.

“Fierce, angry, an incredible book. Though it is a work of fiction, in a way it is not. Kourouma brings to life the voice of a child soldier.” —P. W. Singer, author of Children at War

“A tour de force—original, irreverent, brutal, funny, poetic—in which history and myth are brilliantly evoked.”
The Independent (London)

“This is one of the funniest, most powerful, most intense novels to appear in French for a decade.” —Le Nouvel Observateur (Paris)

“Shocking and deeply moving. . . . . An African Lord of the Flies.” —The Guardian (London)

“Witty and wholly authentic. . . . Spellbinding. . . . Kourouma has been likened to Voltaire. . . Gabriel García Márquez also comes to mind, likewise John Updike’s sparkling ventriloquism.” —The Spectator (London)

“This book is an inspiration. Its language is full of humor, sadness and wisdom that catches you. You will laugh while crying and through this Kourouma makes you understand the tragic absurdity of war.” —Uzodinma Iweala, author of Beasts of No Nation