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In this beautifully crafted, Rashomon-like novel, Maryse Conde has written a gripping story imbued with all the nuances and traditions of Caribbean culture. Francis Sancher--a handsome outsider, loved by some and reviled by others--is found dead, face down in the mud on a path outside Riviere au Sel, a small village in Guadeloupe. None of the villagers are particularly surprised, since Sancher, a secretive and melancholy man, had often predicted an unnatural death for himself. As the villagers come to pay their respects they each--either in a speech to the mourners, or in an internal monologue--reveal another piece of the mystery behind Sancher's life and death. Like pieces of an elaborate puzzle, their memories interlock to create a rich and intriguing portrait of a man and a community. In the lush and vivid prose for which she has become famous, Conde has constructed a Guadeloupean wake for Francis Sancher. Retaining the full color and vibrance of Conde's homeland, Crossing the Mangrove pays homage to Guadeloupe in both subject and structure.From the Trade Paperback edition.
One dark night in Cape Town, Rosélie's husband goes out for a pack of cigarettes and never comes back. Not only is she left with unanswered questions about his violent death but she is also left without any means of support. At the urging of her housekeeper and best friend, the new widow decides to take advantage of the strange gifts she has always possessed and embarks on a career as a clairvoyant. As Rosélie builds a new life for herself and seeks the truth about her husband's murder, acclaimed Caribbean author Maryse Condé crafts a deft exploration of post-apartheid South Africa and a smart, gripping thriller. The Story of the Cannibal Woman is both contemporary and international, following the lives of an interracial, intercultural couple in New York City, Tokyo, and Capetown. Maryse Condé is known for vibrantly lyrical language and fearless, inventive storytelling -- she uses both to stunning effect in this magnificently original novel.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning author of the classic historical novel Segu, Maryse Condé has pieced together the life of her maternal grandmother to create a moving and profound novel. Maryse Condé's personal journey of discovery and revelation becomes ours as we learn of Victoire, her white-skinned mestiza grandmother who worked as a cook for the Walbergs, a family of white Creoles, in the French Antilles. Using her formidable skills as a storyteller, Condé describes her grandmother as having "Australian whiteness for the color of her skin...She jarred with my world of women in Italian straw bonnets and men necktied in three-piece linen suits, all of them a very black shade of black. She appeared to me doubly strange." Victoire was spurred by Condé's desire to learn of her family history, resolving to begin her quest by researching the life of her grandmother. While uncovering the circumstances of Victoire's unique life story, Condé also comes to grips with a haunting question: How could her own mother, a black militant, have been raised in the Walberg's home, a household of whites? Creating a work that takes readers into a time and place populated with unforgettable characters that inspire and amaze, Condé's blending of memoir and imagination, detective work and storytelling artistry, is a literary gem that readers won't soon forget.
The deeply prolific and widely celebrated author of such books as Segu and Tales from the Heart, Maryse Condé returns with an unforgettable new novel, Who Slashed Celanire's Throat? Inspired by a tragedy in the late twentieth century, Condé sets this fiction in the late nineteenth century with her characteristic blend of magical realism and fantasy. Condé lyrically, hauntingly imagines Celanire: a woman who was mutilated at birth and left for dead. Mysterious, seductive, and disarming, she is driven to uncover the truth of her past at any cost. On one hand, Celanire appears to be a saint; she is a tireless worker who has turned numerous neglected institutions into vibrant schools for motherless children. But she is also a woman apprehended by demons, as death and misfortune seem to follow in her wake. Who Slashed Celanire's Throat? follows both her triumphs and her trials as this survivor becomes a beautiful and powerful woman who travels from Guadeloupe to West Africa to Peru in order to solve the mysteries of her past and avenge the crimes committed against her. This beautifully rendered story, translated by Richard Philcox from the French edition, is sure to be considered the most dazzling addition to Condé's brilliant body of work.
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