On the day that Obinna’s village is savagely attacked by the rebel army and his father murdered, he witnesses violence beyond his imagination. Along with his older brother he finds himself thrown into a truck when the soldiers leave, to be shaped into an agent of horror – a child soldier. Marched through minefields and forced into battle, enduring a brutal daily existence, Obinna slowly works out which parts of himself to save and which to sacrifice in this world turned upside down.
Majok Tulba fled war-torn South Sudan as a sixteen-year-old, and now lives in Sydney with his wife and children. He was awarded a NSW Premier's CAL Literary Centre Fellowship, and is the founder and CEO of the charity Mother and Child Development Agency.
'Beneath the Darkening Sky is as heartbreaking as it is beautiful, giving us the story of a young boy who must fight to defend himself against conditions worse than any human--let alone a child--should ever be forced to endure. As a novel of resilience and identity, and of what lengths we are willing to go to survive, it is at once harrowing and haunting, shedding light on the continuing horrors of child soldiers.'
– Shelf Awareness for Readers
‘Tightly plotted and cleverly structured, but its quality ultimately flows from its hero… it is the struggle to resist life as a hardened killer that gives the book its narrative force.’
‘Majok Tulba’s novel is a red-raw story of an African child soldier. The violence is brutal and unrelenting, the writing unembellished and unsettling… Beneath the Darkening Sky makes for uncomfortable reading and is a book that will prick the conscience of western readers in their soft armchairs.’
– Irish Times
'It does what great literature can, which is to make something beautiful out of terror and truth.'
– Anna Funder, author of All That I Am
'Urgent and absorbing.'
'Majok Tulba recreates his country's recent past with a visceral energy and a finely tuned fidelity to truth and beauty.'
– Delia Jarrett-Macauley, author of Moses, Citizen & Me
'A gripping, moving depiction of the horrific plight of child soldiers in Africa.'
– Bianca Jagger, Founder and Chair of Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation
'Majok Tulba's powerful novel resonates long after the last page.'
– Alice Pung, author of Her Father's Daughter
'A story that will chill. It is a story that will educate. It is a story that you shouldn't put down, as it is a story of a real world problem that unfortunately happens every day.'
– P. W. Singer, author of Children at War
'A brilliant novel that will not be easily forgotten.'