Illustrations for Ishmael Beah's Novel "Little Family" (2020)
4 Illustrated panels done for @riverheadbooks Instagram commissioned by art director Helen Yentus to celebrate the release of @ishmaelhbeah’s new novel “Little Family”. Born 23 November 1980, Beah is a Sierra Leonean author and human rights activist who rose to fame with his acclaimed memoir, A Long Way Gone.His novel Radiance of Tomorrow was published in January 2014. His most recent novel Little Family was published in April 2020:
A powerful novel about young people in a conflict-scarred land, struggling to replace the homes they have lost with the one they have created together.
Hidden away from a harsh outside world, five young people have improvised a home in an abandoned airplane, a relic of their country’s chaos. Elimane, the bookworm, is as street-smart as he is wise. Clever Khoudiemata maneuvers to keep the younger kids—athletic, pragmatic Ndevui; thoughtful Kpindi; and especially their newest member, Namsa—safe and fed. When Elimane makes himself of service to the shadowy William Handkerchief, it seems as if the little family may be able to keep the world at bay and their household intact. But when Khoudi comes under the spell of the “beautiful people”—the fortunate sons and daughters of the powerful—the desire to resume an interrupted coming of age and follow her own destiny proves impossible to resist.
A profound and tender portrayal of the connections we forge to survive the fate we’re dealt, Little Family marks the further blossoming of a unique global voice.