Watch Chapter 1 of the Novel Movie:

Novel written by Albert Russo

Produced by Matthew Toffolo

Narration by David Kinsman

Visual Design by Vira Solovyova

Deadline: SUBMIT your NOVEL (both your 1st chapter or full novel accepted)
And we’ll make it into a MOVIE

DEADLINE: 1st CHAPTER/FULL NOVEL Festival. FULL FEEDBACK. Get novel performed by professional actors

Excerpts of the world press + comments from world-renowned authors concerning


Libération (Paris): «One does not often encounter a novel told in three voices. In ADOPTED BY AN AMERICAN HOMOSEXUAL IN THE BELGIAN CONGO (or AHBC) , Albert Russo lets the protagonists, each in turn, express their hopes, expectations and frustrations in their daily lives. And as the story unravels from one version to the other, the themes which the author wishes to tackle are exposed in an intimistic mode: life in colonial times, adoption, homosexuality, the relationships between three very different people living under the same roof. The reader is drawn into the pace of this well constructed novel and is able, through the characters’ successive narrations, to settle behind each conscience.”

L’Express (Paris): «AHBC is Albert Russo’s invigorating novel. It deals with capital questions and a delicate theme: the adoption of a mulatto child by an American homosexual in the Belgian Congo of the 1950’s. The manner in which the novel is structured allows each of the three protagonists to cast a different light upon this unusual love story. It behooves Mama Malkia, the formidable Congolese woman who smothers with tenderness the two marginal men, to recount Léo’s departure for America as well as the death of Harry during the events following the Congo’s Independence. This is the novel of every possible pain and battle caused and fueled by differences, be they of a sexual, social or racial nature. Yet, albeit violent, AHBC is never tragic. It is an incitation to courage: to affirm one’s freedom, not to mask the truth, to avoid the traps of guilt. This powerful, very well written novel, is a hymn to optimism.»

Martin Tucker, Professor of British, African-American and African literature, founder of Confrontation magazine, poet and biographer of Joseph Conrad and Sam Shepard:

«Albert Russo’s work has many distinctive qualities. Adopted by an American homosexual in the Belgian Congo is especially distinguished by Russo’s startingly precise grasp of the historic period of mid-twentieth-century Central Africa. In this sense, his work bears twinship to V.S. Naipaul’s A Bend in the River. Such a time no longer exists because one history has changed and another has happened, and still another is happening under our ticking hours. Like his predecessor Naipaul (Nobel Prize-winner), Russo has captured the attitudes of his white colonialists, his black politicians of various hues of moderation and extremity, and painted a seemingless timeless portrait of a naive young American paramedic volunteer. (Perhaps naivity is the one constant in the history of change.) Again, like Naipaul, Russo is compassionate and satiric, but unlike his British counterpart, Russo holds out hope that messages of goodness and idealism and decency remain within hearing, that they remain to be recorded in a different and deeper key in another time.

Like any serious artist, Russo is subtle and ironic in his presentations. His political and social attitudes to his ever-pertinent material remain, in consequence, beyond familiarity. Yet in carving out a moment of history, in shaping a fountain of abiding conflicts and in stroking broadly the revolutions of personal and social jealousy, anger and explosion, his artistry is triumphant. He has captured in fiction what lies hidden in forgotten documents, and he has given substance and a frame to the baldness of even remembered documents.

Rooted in a past time, Adopted by an American homosexual in the Belgian Congo has an undeniable relevance to contemporary time.»

James Baldwin’s words to the author, penned the year of his death, after reading this portion of the novel still in progress at that time:

«I like your work very much indeed. It has a very gentle surface and a savage under-tow. You’re a dangerous man.»

This is what Edmund White, the acclaimed biographer of Jean Genet and author of the bestselling autobiographical novel ‘The Farewell Symphony’ writes concerning Adopted by an American homosexual in the Belgian Congo:

«Albert Russo has recreated through a young African boy’s joys and struggles many of the tensions of modern life, straight and gay, black and white, third world and first … all of these tensions underlie this story of a biracial African adopted by a gay American. And Adopted by an American homosexual in the Belgian Congo is a non-stop, gripping read! »

Links to AHBC:

published by l’Aleph, Wisehouse Publishing

By WILDsound Festival

Submitters reactions to their feedback on their stories. New testimonials coming each month! Watch this month's winning readings. At least 15 performances a month: Submit your script, story, poem, or film to the festival today:


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