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Development Matters

Beasts of No Nation:Inside the Mind of An African Child Soldier

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm


Beasts of No Nation

Download text transcript (PDF, 73 KB)

Watch Uzodinma read a chapter from his book*
*(Video streams in Quicktime-- if you do not have Quicktime on your computer download it for free)


Uzodinma Iweala
disscussed his new book, "Beasts of No Nation," at this CGD Development Matters event. Sean Fine, producer/director/cinematographer of "War Dance" a forthcoming film about former child soldiers in Uganda offered comments and showed a film clip. Todd Moss, a research fellow at CGD served as moderator.


Advance praise for "Beasts of No Nation":
“This is a book about horror, but Iweala writes in a first-person, African patois, which gives it a lightness and wit, a buoyancy, which is very unusual considering what he’s writing about. It’s one of those rare occasions when you see a first novel and you think, This guy is going to be very, very good.”
— Salman Rushdie

“Haunting. . . . Iweala’s acute imagining of Agu’s perspective allows him to depict the war as a mesh of bestial pleasures and pain. . . . A startling debut.”
— The New Yorker

“The hypnotic present tense, first-person narration draws the reader deep into the child soldier’s shattered psyche.”
— The Washington Post

“Iweala gives his hero a voice that is literary yet poetic. . . . The acute characterization, the adroit mixture of color and restraint, and the horrific emotional force of the narrative are impressive. Still more impressive is Iweala’s ability to maintain not only our sympathy but our affection for his central character.”
— The New York Times Book Review

This event is part of the Center for Global Development’s series of Movies, Books, and Conversations: Development Matters

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