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A Long Way from Douala

A Novel

Max Lobe, Ros Schwartz (Translated by)

Paperback

List Price: 15.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

Bursting with local color, this hilarious, heartwarming coming-of-age tale follows two friends on a raucous journey across Cameroon as they grapple with grief, sexuality, and dreams of leaving. 

After their father’s sudden death, Jean’s older brother Roger decides he’s had enough of their abusive mother and their city. He runs away to try his luck crossing illegally into Europe, in the hope of becoming a soccer star abroad. When no news of him reaches the family, and the police declare that finding some feckless brat isn’t worth their time, Jean feels he has to act. Aiming to catch up with Roger before he gets to the Nigerian border, Jean enlists the help of the older Simon, a close neighborhood friend, and the two set out on the road. 

Through a series of joyful, sparky vignettes, Cameroon life is revealed in all its ups and downs. Max Lobe insightfully touches on grave, complex issues, such as the violence Boko Haram has inflicted on the region, yet still recounts events with remarkable humor and levity.


Praise For A Long Way from Douala: A Novel

“Redolent with the sights, sounds, and smells of modern Cameroon, this is in fact a classic road trip, a Homeric quest in which our two young heroes may not discover what they were seeking but learn a great deal about themselves, each other, and the state of Africa. A jostling, poignant tale, it left me hungry for more.” —Michela Wrong, author Borderlines and It’s Our Turn to Eat
 
“[Max Lobe’s] eye is as compassionate as his characterizations are rich. I only wish this novel had been twice the length. You are in for a treat.” —Patrick Gale, author of Take Nothing With You

Other Press, 9781635421743, 208pp.

Publication Date: September 28, 2021



About the Author

Max Lobe was born in Douala, Cameroon. At eighteen he moved to Switzerland, where he earned a BA in communication and journalism, and a master’s in public policy and administration. In 2017 his novel Confidences won the Ahmadou Kourouma Prize. A Long Way from Douala was published in 2018 to rave reviews in Switzerland and France. He is the founder of the Genev’Africa program, which promotes literary and cultural exchange between French-speaking Switzerland and Africa. He lives in Geneva.

Ros Schwartz is an award-winning translator of more than a hundred works of fiction and nonfiction, including the 2010 edition of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. Among the francophone authors she has translated are Tahar Ben Jelloun, Aziz Chouaki, Fatou Diome, Dominique Eddé, and Ousmane Sembène. In 2009 she was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 2017 she was awarded the John Sykes Memorial Prize for Excellence by the UK-based Institute of Translation and Interpreting.