Edem Awumey was born in Lomé, Togo. He is the author of three previous novels, Port-Melo (2006), which won the prestigious Grand prix littéraire d’Afrique noire; Les pieds sales (2009), which was a finalist for the Prix Goncourt in France; and Rose déluge (2011). The English translation of Les pieds sales, Dirty Feet (2011), was selected for the Dublin Impac Award. In 2006 Awumey was selected to be a literary protégé to the renowned Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun. Edem Awumey currently lives in Gatineau, Quebec.
About the novel:
Translated from French by Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott.
With a nod to Samuel Beckett and Bohumil Hrabal, a young dramatist from a West African nation describes a student protest against a brutal oligarchy and its crushing aftermath. While distributing leaflets with provocative quotations from Beckett, Ito Baraka is taken to a camp where torture, starvation, beatings, and rape are normal. Forced to inform on his friends, whose fates he now fears, and released a broken man, he is enabled to escape to Quebec. His one goal is to tell the story of the protest and pay homage to Koli Lem, a teacher, cellmate, and lover of books, who was blinded by being forced to look at the sun--and is surely a symbol of the nation.
Edem Awumey gives us a darkly moving and terrifying novel about fear and play, repression and protest, and the indomitable nature of creativity.
Wednesday, March 14 2018
116 Third Ave.