Bound to Violence

Yambo Ouologuem


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Penguin Books Ltd
7 March 2024
ISBN: 9780241680803
240 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Ralph Manheim
With an Introduction by Chérif Keïta

'A great novel ... bone-chilling black satire ... it deserves many readings' New York Times

A mock epic of explosive power, Bound to Violence races through the history of the imaginary African kingdom of Nakem, from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. Recounting the bloody adventures of successive inglorious dynasties, the arrival of white exploiters and the fates of ordinary, endlessly persecuted citizens - most notably the tragicomic, Paris-educated hero Raymond-Spartacus Kassoumi - this iconoclastic, outrageous 1968 novel takes a wry, sideways look at empire and nationalism, and at the sex, violence and power that run through human relationships.

'A startling energy of language' John Updike, New Yorker