Magazine article New Internationalist

The Rebels' Hour

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Rebels' Hour

Article excerpt

The Rebels' Hour by Lieve Joris translated from the Dutch by Liz Waters (Atlantic Books, ISBN 9781843547532)

Weaving together factual and fictional elements to form a coherent narrative is fiendishly difficult and often unsatisfying for both author and reader. Not so with Lieve Joris's spellbinding account of the recent ill-starred history of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Joris, a Belgian journalist, has travelled widely in the Congo and has written two previous books on the country.

The Rebels' Hour has at its heart a riveting semi-fictionalized portrait of one of the central players in the Congolese tragedy, Assani, a cowherd from the east of the country who became, at various times, an officer in the uprising against Mobutu led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila; a general in the Congolese army; the leader of a rebel cadre of child-soldiers; and an active participant in the ongoing tentative peace negotiations between the warring factions, led by the present Congolese President, Kabila's son Joseph. …

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