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Winner of the 2015 Prix Littéraire de la Porte Dorée
Winner of the 2014 Prix Georges Brassens
Guinea-Bissau, 2012. Sylvain Prudhomme re-imagines the famous ’70s music group Super Mama Djombo, as seen through the eyes of Couto, the laconic guitarist. After learning of the death of the singer, Dulce—once the love of his life—Couto wanders through the capital city, from bar to bar, friend to friend. Thirty years file past in his memories: of the woman he loved, of guerillas fighting against Portuguese colonizers, and of the golden days of a legendary band that played all over the world with a sound that was new, fresh, and driven by the pride of an entire country.
The tension mounts as the group frantically prepares a final concert in Dulce’s honour, which must take place in just 24 hours. Little do they know, a coup d’ état is about to take place, executed by Dulce’s husband, Guinea-Bissau’s Army Chief of Staff.
Sylvain Prudhomme’s The Greats, translated by award-winning wordsmith Jessica Moore, is a novel of mourning, love, and the thirst for justice that tells the story of a population who knew hope and independence but now live under the oppressive rule of an army dictatorship.