In this deeply hopeful and viscerally detailed novel, award-winning Haitian author Louis-Philippe Dalembert (The Other Side of the Sea) has provided a Tolstoyan narrative of the contemporary immigrants' exodus from war, famine, poverty, criminality and injustice to a better life across the Mediterranean Sea. Following in intimate detail the lives of three women from disparate religions and cultures, and nations--Nigeria, Eritrea, and Syria--Dalembert compassionately depicts these three women and the bond they form together in their mutual struggle to escape to Europe via an overcrowded, dilapidated boat across the sea, the metaphorical wall between their former lives and the future. Certain to appeal to readers of literature of migration and such recent fiction as "Behold the Dreamers" and "The Lost Children Archive."
About the Author
Louis-Philippe Dalembert (born December 8, 1962 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti) is a Haitian poet and novelist, who writes in both French and Haitian creole. His works have been translated into several languages. He now divides his home between Berlin, Paris and Port-au-Prince. He has received several prizes and awards for his work, among them, the Grand Priz de poésie de la Ville D'Angers for his poetry collection, Et le soleil se souvient, a residency at the Villa Medicis in Rome, and the Prix RFO du livre for his novel, L'Autre Face de la Mer. Trained in literature and journalism, Dalembert first worked as a journalist in his homeland before leaving in 1986 for France where he obtained his Ph.D. at the Sorbonne in comparative literature. Since then, he has traveled widely as a teacher and visiting poet, and has taught briefly at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Bern. He is also known to be an avid soccer fan. His poetry has been published in several major literary journals in the US, and Dalembert was a contributor to the recently released anthology And We Came Out and Saw the Stars Again: Writers from Around the World on the COVID-19 Epidemic.
Marjolijn de Jager earned a PhD. in Romance Languages and Literatures from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1975. Having been born in Indonesia, grown up in the Netherlands and residing in the US since the age of 22, she translates from both the Dutch and the French. Francophone African literature, the women’s voices in particular, have a special place in her heart. Among her honors are an NEA grant, two NEH grants and, in 2011, the annually awarded ALA Distinguished Member Award received from the African Literature Association for scholarship, teaching, and translations of African Literature. In 2019, Marjolijn's translation of Congo, Inc: Bismarck's Testament (Indiana University Press) has been shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Awards. She has to date translated three titles for Schaffner Press.
For further information please see http://mdejager.com
"Louis-Philippe Dalembert is one of the most imaginative writers of his generation" —Edwidge Danticat, author of Everything Inside and Brother, I'm Dying
"It may seem counterintuitive, but on second thought, who better to write from inside the Mediterranean refugee crisis than a Haitian novelist living in France? And Louis Philippe Dalembert has done it beautifully here." —Madison Smartt Bell, National Book Award Finalist
"Dalembert is a world-class poet and chronicler not only of the African diaspora but of the radical uprootedness of people everywhere. His work is the work of witness, infused with love and admiration for the millions of sufferers who endure the violent disruptions of our time with dignity and perseverance and a love for one another that is equal to his own." —Russell Banks, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author, Continental Drift and Foregone
A “richly textured and sweeping novel….this story of a wretched journey is deeply affecting.” —Publishers Weekly
"The book puts a face on the issue of immigration and reminds us that behind the news headlines are human beings with hopes and dreams who aspire to something better." Lee Woodruff, author, In an Instant
"By memorializing a disaster and its nameless victims — the novel is a kind of cenotaph — Dalembert has made a dent in the vast wall of this amnesia." —Steven Heighton, The New York Times