The War You Don't Hate

Blaise Ndala
Translated by Dimitri Nasrallah

Awards: Winner - 2019 Radio-Canada Combats des livres
Winner - 2018 Prix Émergence de l'Association des auteurs et auteures de l'Ontario français
Finalist - 2018 Grand prix littéraire d’Afrique noire
Special Mention - 2018 Prix Ivoire pour la littérature africaine d'expression francophone
Finalist - 2017 Trillium Book Award

In Blaise Ndala's magnificent second novel, originally published as Sans Capote Ni Kalachnikov in 2017, the paths of a Canadian documentary filmmaker and two former rebel soldiers from the Congo collide in this searing revenge tale about those who profit from the misery of others.

Los Angeles, 2002. Véronique Quesnel accepts the Best Documentary Oscar for "Sona: Rape and Terror in the Heart of Darkness", basking in the praise of her privileged audience. She has drawn attention to “the center of gravity that is Black tragedy”, which attracted her away from her life in Montreal, and to the harrowing story of Sona, a young woman who escaped sex slavery. But this lauded film has also shone a dangerous spotlight on Véronique herself. In the Great Lakes region of Africa, Master Corporal Red Ant and his cousin Baby Che are stalking the remnants of the Second Congo War – the deadliest conflict since World War II. In search of truth and vengeance, their obsession now has a name.

Esplanade Books


“Ndala crafts three deeply developed characters and skilfully intertwines their lives. The attention to detail helps this story feel true to life – at times almost unbearably so. The War You Don’t Hate will leave readers deep in thought and wanting more.” -Quill & Quire

"The War You Don't Hate is a voice-driven novel with a rapier's edge. Ndala's tone is sly, barbed, and seasoned with gallows humour." – Ami Sands Brodoff, Montreal Review of Books

Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Blaise Ndala has lived in Ottawa since 2007. His debut novel, J’irai danser sur la tombe de Senghor, won the Ottawa Book Award for French fiction and was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award. His third novel, 2021’s Dans le ventre du Congo, won the Prix d’Ivoire pour la Littérature Africaine d'Expression Francophone and the Prix Ahmadou-Kourouma, and appeared in English last year as In The Belly of the Congo (Simon & Schuster Canada).

Dimitri Nasrallah is the author of four novels. His most recent, 2022’s Hotline, was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads. He was born in Lebanon in 1977, and moved to Canada in 1988. His previous books include The Bleeds, Niko, and Blackbodying.

Trade paperback
400 pp 7.5" x 5"
ISBN13: 9781550656558

CDN $22.95

ISBN13: 9781550656596

CDN $13.99