Little Family, by Ishmael Beah
A powerful novel about young people living at the margins of society, struggling to replace the homes they have lost with the one they have created together.
Hidden away from a harsh outside world, five young people have improvised a home in an abandoned airplane, a relic of their country’s tumultuous past. Elimane, the bookworm, is as street-smart as he is wise. Clever Khoudiemata maneuvers to keep the younger kids—athletic, pragmatic Ndevui, thoughtful Kpindi, and especially their newest member, Namsa—safe and fed. When Elimane makes himself of service to the shadowy William Handkerchief, it seems as if the little family may be able to keep the world at bay and their household intact. But when Khoudi comes under the spell of the “beautiful people”—the fortunate sons and daughters of the elite—the desire to resume an interrupted coming of age and follow her own destiny proves impossible to resist.
A profound and tender portrayal of the connections we forge to survive the fate we’re dealt, Little Family marks the further blossoming of a unique global voice.
Ishmael Beah is the Sierra Leonean and American author of the novel Radiance of Tomorrow and the memoir A Long Way Gone, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller and has been published in more than forty languages. A UNICEF Ambassador and Advocate for Children Affected by War, and a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Advisory Committee, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their children.
"Arguably the most-read African writer in contemporary literature." — Vanity Fair
“[A] vibrant outing. . . . Beah informs his characters’ blend of street savvy and naïveté with bursts of details. . . . Fans of African postcolonial fiction are in for a treat.” — Publishers Weekly
"An ingenious setup. . . . readers will be drawn to discover what befalls a group fending for itself amid conflict and crime. Beah draws on both his life and imagination to depict children leading brave, provisional lives." — Kirkus
“Beah portrays his characters with exquisite tenderness, imbuing them with a grace that belies their wretched situation… In a work less harrowing but no less effective than Radiance of Tomorrow, Beah continues to speak eloquently to the impact of colonialism on generations of African children for whom freedom is merely an illusion.” – Library Journal
Hardcover, April 28, 2020