Luanda, Angola, 1990. Ndalu is a normal twelve-year old boy in an extraordinary time and place. Like his friends, he enjoys laughing at his teachers, avoiding homework and telling tall tales. But Ndalu’s teachers are Cuban, his homework assignments include writing essays on the role of the workers and peasants, and the tall tales he and his friends tell are about a criminal gang called Empty Crate which specializes in attacking schools. Ndalu is mystified by the family servant, Comrade Antonio, who thinks that Angola worked better when it was a colony of Portugal, and by his Aunt Dada, who lives in Portugal and doesn’t know what a ration card is. In a charming voice that is completely original, Good Morning Comrades tells the story of a group of friends who create a perfect childhood in a revolutionary socialist country fighting a bitter war. But the world is changing around these children, and like all childhood’s Ndalu’s cannot last. An internationally acclaimed novel, already published in half a dozen countries, Good Morning Comrades is an unforgettable work of fiction by one of Africa’s most exciting young writers.
Ondjaki has published four novels, three collections of short stories, two collections of poetry, and three children’s books. His literary debut came in 2002 with the novella O Assobiador (The Whistler), which was followed up with the childhood memoir Bom dia Camaradas (Good Morning, Comrades) in 2003. Since then he has also published Transparent City (2012), Uma Escuridão Bonita (2013), Sonhos Azuis Pelas Esquinas (2014), Há Gente em Casa (2018). He has been awarded a number of important prizes, among them the prestigious Jabuti Prize. His novel Transparent City was awarded the Saramago Prize 2013, Prix Transfuge 2015, and Prix Littérature Monde 2016. He was also selected among the top 39 African writers under the age of 40 for the Africa39 anthology project and his books have been translated to French, Spanish, Italian, German, English, Chinese and Swedish.