185pp., paperback, London, (2018) 2019
First published in France in 2016.
A coming-of-age novel set in Burundi in the early 1990s. A ten-year-old boy's peaceful existence in the expatriate neighbourhood of Bujumbura with his French father, Rwandan mother and little sister is shattered when Burundi, and neighbouring Rwanda, descend into civil war and genocide.
"Luminous... This is a book that demanded to be written, not only to mark the lives lost in Burundi and Rwanda, but also to show the way in which violence can take hold of a nation. With a light touch, Faye dramatises the terrible nostalgia of having lost not only a childhood but also a whole world to war." Nadifa Mohamed, Guardian
“Gaël Faye’s talent is breathtaking; no country that can give the world a writer like him should be ever be called small.” Imbolo Mbue, author of Behold the Dreamers
“An evocative portrait of what it means to lose one’s freedom and innocence… He is a writer of great promise and grace.” Chigozie Obioma, author of The Fishermen
Hip-hop artist and songwriter Gaël Faye was born in 1982 in Burundi to a French father and Rwandan mother. In 1995, after the outbreak of the civil war and the Rwandan genocide, the family moved to France. Small Country is his first novel and has been awarded the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens. He lives in Paris.