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Petit pays

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  5,929 ratings  ·  830 reviews
Avant, Gabriel faisait les quatre cents coups avec ses copains dans leur coin de paradis. Et puis l'harmonie familiale s'est disloquée en même temps que son "petit pays", le Burundi, ce bout d'Afrique centrale brutalement malmenée par l'Histoire.

Plus tard, Gabriel fait revivre un monde à jamais perdu. Les battements de cœur et les souffles coupés, les pensées profondes et
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 24th 2016 by Grasset
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Carol Seidl I read the book in French and loved it. I've never been to Africa and I thought the descriptions of Gaby's childhood were totally relatable. I think…moreI read the book in French and loved it. I've never been to Africa and I thought the descriptions of Gaby's childhood were totally relatable. I think the author did a wonderful job of showing how life in Burundi had the potential of being nearly paradisal--at least from the perspective of a child. I knew about the genocide in Rwanda but didn't know much about Burundi and was surprised to see that the killing spread to that country after Rwanda was stabilized. Even though the book ends with tragedy, I regard it as a beautiful tale.(less)

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4.24  · 
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 ·  5,929 ratings  ·  830 reviews

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War always takes it upon itself, unsolicited, to find us an enemy. I wanted to remain neutral, but I couldn’t. I was born with this story. It ran in my blood. I belonged to it.

3.5 Stars. A coming-of-age tale set during the Burundian Civil War. Ten-year-old Gabriel lives in Burundi with his Rwandan mother and French father. He has a normal childhood in his beautiful homeland until the horrors of war arrive in his neighborhood. Gabriel wants to ignore all the conflict going on around him, but th
Diane S ☔
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This almost feels like two different stories, and in a way it is just that. The first part features a ten year old boy, Gabby, his sister And, his mother who was from Rwanda and his father, who is a French ex pat. It is marked by the innocence of youth, of being able to live a somewhat privileged life in a safe community. His days spent playing with his friends, their rivalry with a boy named Frances, his only worry the disintegrating relationship of his parents. In Burundi, the first democratic ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: francia, rwanda
Il paradiso perduto è quello del piccolo Gaby, la spensieratezza dell’infanzia, fino ai dodici anni, perduta quando la paura e la morte arrivano d'improvviso alla porta, costringendolo, proprio come è successo a Gaël Faye, a lasciare il suo paese natale, il Burundi, per trasferirsi in Francia.
L’illusione della felicità che si sbriciola quando la realtà irrompe col suo tremendo carico di morte e violenza.
Un brusco passaggio d’età, da bambino ad adulto nel giro di pochi mesi.

Le imm
Aviones de papel
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: releer
Bufff, no me quedan lágrimas, me ha roto el alma, es un libro durísimo pero necesario, porque es de esos que les da voz a la guerra, a la muerte y a la injusticia, a todos aquellos que no son más que una cifra en el noticiario. Es poético y desgarrador, es algo muy especial que nadie debería perderse, porque desde pequeños siempre nos han dicho que tenemos que estar felices y agradecidos de nacer en el sitio que hemos nacido y bla bla bla, pero a la mierda con eso, deberíamos estar cabreados e i ...more
In this emotionally charged book, Gaël Faye carefully navigates through a modern time where human depravity descended so deep into the abyss. Unfortunately, it seems human history is littered with wars and atrocities, however, we sometimes seem to really outdo the horror, especially when the cruelty is incited from a systematic national directive of genocide. Can we continue to describe this as human? In 1994 the racial tensions between Hutu and Tutsi made global news for the brutal ma
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are two themes in Gael Faye’s book, Small Country, relatable and unimaginable.
Relateable is 10 year old Burundian native, Gaby, in the beginning bricks back memories at that age of spending days in the neighborhood with friends, getting into simple mischief and exploration of his neighborhood. He was just leaving the age of innocence and just beginning to understand life.
His only real worry at that time was watching the distance and separation growing between his mother, who was from Rwand
This is not your classic immigrant story: In his debut novel, musician Gaël Faye does not talk much about the life of a refugee in France. Rather, he talks about life in Burundi, where the happy childhood of his protagonist Gaby starts to disintegrate when his parents (a Tutsi from Rwanda and a Frenchman) separate and it becomes less and less feasible for the adults around him to shelter him from the growing political turmoil. Gaby witnesses different forms of violence and finally neighbouring R ...more
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: publisher, reviewed
This short book is written in the form of a memoir by the 33 year old Gabriel who is now living in France. The story is set in Burundi during 1992 and 1993 when Gabriel aged 10/11 is living in an expat neighborhood with his younger sister Ana and their French father Michel and Rwandan (Tutsi) mother Yvonne. This is the second book I've read this month about the genocide in Rwanda. The first book (nonfiction) told me that it was the Belgians who had sorted the Rwandans into ethnic groups Tutsis, ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, ebooks
I‘ve seldom read a book that touched and moved me as much as Small Country. Told from the perspective of a young boy, it brings to life a bit of African history which is so terrible it once mad international front page news but now seems quite forgotten: the genocide of the Tutsi in Burundi and Rwanda. Small Country talks of broken dreams, a stolen childhood, masses of innocents lives taken in the most brutal ways and a hatred which is profound and extremely hard to understand.
This book is one o
It had moments that were very compelling, but the overall story was disjointed and felt incomplete. There wasn't anything particularly special about the writing; it was a fine translation. I do think it's cool that the author is a musician, and I definitely want to check out his work.
Book of the Month
Why I Love it
by Liberty Hardy

I’ll be honest: This is a slim novel with very a serious subject. But! It is also the kind of book that will stay with you for a long time. Set amidst the beautiful scenery of Africa and based on a dark chapter in Burundi’s history, Small Country—which won France’s most prestigious literary award—is a powerful, important story about family, cultural differences, and war.

Gaby is a boy of ten living in Burundi with his French father and Rwandan mother. The novel begin
Ce livre est absolument magnifique et m'a fait passer par toute une gamme d'émotions au fil de ma lecture.

Pendant toute la première partie, on se sent transporté au Burundi, on a vraiment l'impression de ressentir la moiteur, d'entendre les crapauds et de goûter les mangues (Petit Pays m'a d'ailleurs filé une sacrée fringale de mangues), l'insouciance de l'enfance est magnifiquement bien décrite, même si, déjà, à l'arrière-plan, les tensions politiques sont là.

Et puis soudain, la guerre rattra
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it

Il m’a fallu m’accrocher au départ, à cette période de la vie où rien ne se passe si ce n’est l’enfance, et puis la guerre arrive, la violence, la mort. Ce livre est très fort, marquant aussi. Il m’a peut-être manqué un peu d’émotion dans l’écriture mais c’est définitivement une lecture dont on ressort un peu différent. Qui nous fait prendre conscience de la réalité de la guerre et d’un pays oublié.

Ma chronique :
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I used to think I was exiled from my country. But, in retracing the steps of my past, I have understood that I was exiled from my childhood. Which seems so much crueler.”

This book made an impression on me, and it certainly educated me. Admittedly, I had Wikipedia at the ready to search on certain of topics as I was reading, so as to have a better background on the political climate during the civil war and genocides in Burundi and Rwanda (yes, I was woefully uninformed).

Gabriel’s struggle is
Claire McAlpine
Once I got into the rhythm of this, which is to say, reading in French, and getting past the need to look up too many new words, I couldn't put this down, by the time I found my own reading rhythm, the life of Gaby and his sister Ana, his parents, his friends had its claws in me and I had to know what was going to happen next.

The book starts with Gaby reflecting on a conversation with his father, a turning point in his understanding of the ethnic origin of his people, of the difference between t
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book. Powerful in its intensity. Here we view the horrors of genocide through the eyes of an eleven year old boy in Burundi. Gabriel recounts his experiences twenty years after witnessing the murders and brutality that took place in his home country of Burundi and its neighbor Rwanda in 1994. Faye claims the novel is not autobiographical, but is based on his experiences at the outbreak of the civil war. And what terrible experiences they are. This slim novel carries a heavy punch. I ...more
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, 2018
**I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.**

Another one of those I just glimpsed the cover and didn’t read the synopsis books. I like to mix up my reading list with this kind of random and most of the time it pays off. It’s the spur of the moment decisions that can make life more interesting and worth living. They add a little extra spice and can keep the monotonous every day BS at bay.

This was a fan-damn-tastic read. Not at all in my norm but I am so happy I went for it. It
Ena u zemlji knjiga
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Na svega dvjestotinjak stranica autor opisuje dubinu sukoba i težinu života u Burundiju nakon početka sukoba između naroda Hutu i Tutsi. Sukob počinje devedesetih godina prošlog stoljeća u susjednoj Ruandi ali, kako to obično biva, proširiju se i na okolne zemlje. Priču pratimo iz perspektive dječaka Gabrijela koji odrasta s mlađom sestrom, ocem Francuzom i majkom Ruanđankom, pripadnicom naroda Tutsi. Sam autor rođen je u Burundiju 1982. godine i on je odrastao u istoj porodici kao Gabrijel, nar ...more
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Small Country is a beautiful book that is filled with perfectly drawn anecdotes that tie Gaby's young life together. It is a powerful story that tells of a world that can be raw and bleak yet full of innocence. I can see why this novel is so popular in France and can predict it will have many fans here in the US. Highly recommended.

Btw I wrote this review while streaming Faye’s music. I really like his songs too.

Thank you to NetGalley, Crown Publishing, and Gaël Faye for the advanced copy for re
Marisa Sauco
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nostalgia. Dolor. Realidad. Poesía.
Mucho por conocer. Mucho por aprender.

«El genocidio es una marea negra: quienes no se ahogan van cubiertos de petróleo durante toda la vida».

«Cuando se abandona un lugar, se dedica un tiempo a decirle adiós a la gente, a las cosas, a los sitios que uno ama. Pero yo no abandoné el país, huí de él. Dejé la puerta abierta de par en par detrás de mí y partí sin mirar atrás».
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No huh.

Tämä oli mieletön, vahva ja voimakas kuvaus pienestä pojasta, joka elää pienessä maassa suurten ja kammottavien tapahtumien keskellä. Burundin ja Ruandan verinen lähihistoria tulee iholle, ja vaikka paikoin toivoin tältä kirjalta hieman syvällisempää käsittelytapaa, toi se lopulta omalla vähäeleisyydellään koko tarinan iholle.

Mieletön kirja, jolle toivoisin suurta ja vahvaa näkyvyyttä myös Suomessa.
Makis Dionis
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cognac, rwanda
21ος αιώνας κ ο κόσμος εξακολουθεί να είναι υποταγμένος στα αγελαια ένστικτά του. Να παίρνει εκδίκηση και να θέλει να επικρατεί επί πτωμάτων. Πεδίο μαχών η Ρουάντα και το Μπουρούντι. Χούτου και Τούτσι.
Ωστόσο δεν πρέπει να αμφιβάλλουμε για την ομορφιά των πραγμάτων, ακόμα και κάτω από ένα βάναυσο ουρανό.
María Alcaide
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, african, historical
4.5 *s
Daniela Ark's Bookiverse
4.5 stars!

Wow. What a beautiful and powerful read! A must read!

The prose is so innocent, poetic and lyrical but the story is so incredibly crude and real!

It is a fiction story but it reads as a memoir because it is such an emotionally charged and chilling story!

Like many stories based in true events, it makes you reflect about how humankind doesn't seem to learn from history and how we the make the same mistakes over and over again!

It is also a very interesting take on these historical facts be
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Difficile de trouver les mots pour parler de ce roman, magnifique et bouleversant. L'écriture de Gaël Faye est très belle, emplie de poésie et de jolies analogies. Je ne peux que vous conseiller cette lecture, qui m'a subjuguée !
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written story of a sensitive boy coming of age in Burundi around the time of the Hutu slaughter of Tutsis in Rwanda and Burundi. If you want context, I highly recommend Phillip Gourevitch’s unforgettable We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families.
Salma  Mohaimeed
غابي طفل العشر سنوات الخلاسي ، من أب فرنسي وأم رواندية توتسية ، يعيش في بوروندي -بلد لجوء الأم ومعقل الأب المستعمر - تحت وطأة الاختلاف العِرْقي المعقّد في سلسة متعاقبة لامتناهية من الأزمان المتضادة سَلْمٌ فحرب باردة فتتبعها أخرى حمراء صريحة ثم سَلمْ أشد وطأةً لأن ما بعده يتسع لكل الاحتمالات ولكن لماذا ؟
" - هل سبب الحرب بين التوتسي والهوتو لأن ليس لديهم الوطن نفسه؟
- لا ليس هذا هو السبب ، لديهم الوطن نفسه.
- فإذاً .. ليس لديهم اللغة نفسها ؟
- بلى يتحدّثون اللغة نفسها.
- ليس لديهم الإله نفسه إذاً ؟
Mai Laakso
Heti ensimmäisistä lauseista rakastuin tähän ranskalais-burundilaisen Gaël Fayen esikoisromaaniin Pienen pieni maa. Solahdin lumoutuneena Afrikkaan mangopuiden alle maistelemaan herkullisen meheviä mangoja, joita kirjan päähenkilö 11-vuotias Gaby poimi puista ystäviensä kanssa, no varastivat lähitalojen pihapuista.
Gabyn isä oli ranskalainen ja äiti ruandalainen. Äidin perhe oli jo pitkään asunut pakolaisena Burundissa. Gaby tunsi kuitenkin Burundin omaksi kotimaakseen, koska oli syntynyt ja asun
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Genocide is an oil slick; those who don't drown in it are polluted for life

This is such a heavy but necessary read. Short in pages but packs a huge punch. Haunting and so beautiful.

The book is told from ten year old Gabriel's POV, who lives with his French father, Rwandan mother and sister in Burundi. We are thrust into Gabriel's idyllic world with his group of expat friends enjoying a sheltered life. There world is rocked when Burundi and Rwanda is hit by a war and genocide.

Small Country is
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is well written/translated and covering horrific events from a childs POV. However my previous read to this, was another book about war (different country/different time period) and I did just not feel as much connection to the characters here till the end.
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French-Rwandan Gaël Faye is an author, composer and hip hop artist. He was born in 1982 in Burundi, and has a Rwandan mother and French father. In 1995, after the outbreak of the civil war and the Rwandan genocide, the family moved to France. Gaël studied finance and worked in London for two years for an investment fund, then he left London to embark on a career of writing and music. He is as infl ...more
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“Of course a book can change you. It can even change your life. It's like falling in love. And you never know when such an encounter might happen. You should beware of books, they're sleeping genies.” 6 likes
“Le génocide est une marée noire, ceux qui ne s’y sont pas noyés sont mazoutés à vie. Parfois,” 5 likes
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