Boy, Interrupted

by Saah Millimono

KSh 1,000

What happens when a young boy’s life is interrupted by war? Two young classmates, Tarnue, a boy from ‘Monrovia-poor’, and Kou, the cherished daughter of a big man in government, strike up an unlikely, yet instinctual friendship. It is 1989 in Liberia and when civil war comes, day-to-day concerns of school, parental pressure and the luxurious rewards of ice cream and new sneakers irrevocably disappear.

Liberian Saah Millimono’s debut is a moving account of a boy’s life in a time of crisis.  Tarnue is at times clear-eyed and wise beyond his years, at others bewildered by the impact of national upheaval on his already challenging existence as Charles Taylor’s forces enter Liberia.  Millimono’s is a brave, honest voice. With prose that is authentic and spare, this story of one boy caught up in cataclysmic events is a powerful indictment of the trauma, and the pity, of war.


“A searing, heartbreaking love story set in the civil war years in Liberia. Told in a direct, idiomatic style, the story takes us from the narrator’s difficult childhood years in Monrovia to a meeting with Kou, the beautiful girl who will change his life forever. ”
-Helon Habila, author of Measuring Time

“Saah Millimono’s Boy, Interrupted reads in parts like a reminiscence, and also like a news dispatch from the time of Liberia’s civil war. It is neither.  The writing is unaffected, the voice strong and fluent. A compelling debut novel that handles lurid subjects— violence, exploitation, displacement— with a keen sensitivity.”
– Olufemi Terry, winner 2010 Caine Prize for African Writing


  1. Rated 4 out of 5


    GOOD READS: I have read about boy soldiers but hearing the voice of a boy soldier new, heartbreaking and terrifying. Boy, Interrupted begins with a familiar African story line; a young underprivileged boy finds a benefactor and then gets an education and goes on to do well and make his family proud. That’s how this book starts and then you see the war, slow and sinister creeping into his life. The title is perfect. I became attached to the main character and the people around him – the kind school girl, the cruel aunt and the next door neighbors so watching normal daily life change for them over the chapters to become daily uncertainty, cruelty and violence was unsettling to say the least. I love books that have me googling information and learning for weeks after I have finished them.

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Saah Millimono

Saah Millimono was born in 1981 and is a graduate of St. Michael’s Catholic High School in Monrovia, Liberia. He has worked as a freelance fiction writer for the Liberian Observer and in 2009 his short story, Broken Dreams won Sea Breeze Journal of Contemporary Liberian Writing’s Short Fiction Prize. Boy, Interrupted is his first novel and was 1st runner-up of the Kwani? Manuscript Project in 2013.