The World, the Lizard and Me
‘The writing is exquisite, the structure flawless’ – Literogo
The World, the Lizard and Me is a novel of testament to the plight of children caught up in the civil wars of Central Africa. First published in 2009, we are proud to be publishing the first English translation of this enthralling story. The World, the Lizard and Me follows the life of Claude Tremblay who, from the age of eleven has sought justice for thousands of voiceless victims. Now an investigator at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, he is pursuing Thomas Kabanga, a warlord charged with creating child soldiers in the Congo.
Defeated in court by a legal technicality, Claude abandons his usual professional detachment and decides to act alone. He finds himself in the growing chaos of the mining town of Bunia, searching for more evidence and eventually encountering Kabanga. Pitched from distant observation into the grim reality of an African power struggle, he is confronted by a form of justice different from any he has experienced before. He also encounters at first hand the results of the inhumanity of the lives of child soldiers, and is forced to reconsider the nature of love and the notion of normality.
Gil Courtemanche draws on his own experiences to write a novel of gripping immediacy. His Africa is a place unknown to many in the West, capable of encompassing extremes of humanity and brutality. The World, the Lizard and Me reveals and questions the motives of criminals and the effects and consequences of childhood. It is an enthralling story of war, work, obsession and the search for personal identity.
‘A voice that evokes humanity in all its depth and breadth, where the executioner and victim are brother and sister, where death is a daily occurrence. A voice I implore you to listen to... Through a felicitous mix of reportage and fiction, Courtemanche has powerfully portrayed a lucid character deeply engaged in a humanist quest.’ – Le Journal de Montréal