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Fiction Historical

A Knife in the Sky

by (author) Marie-Célie Agnant

translated by Katia Grubisic

Inanna Publications
Initial publish date
Jun 2022
Historical, Caribbean & West Indies, Contemporary Women
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2022
    List Price

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A Knife in the Sky is Haitian-Québécoise writer Marie-Célie Agnant's most recent novel. Like most of the author's oeuvre, the book is preoccupied with colonial imposition and its weight specifically on women. In A Knife in the Sky, Agnant locates the power of resistance in women, and in the pen: the novel's first narratrix, Mika, is a journalist dangerously engaged in the pursuit of truth during the repressive Duvalier regime, supported by a cast largely made up of other strong women; the second is her granddaughter, a student from Grenada named Junon. Based on the lived history of those who survived the Duvalierists, A Knife in the Sky is brutal, terrifying, and hopeful.

About the authors

Poet, writer and translator Marie-Célie Agnant was born in Haïti, and lives in Québec since 1970. She was awarded the Alain-Grandbois Award of the Académie des Lettres du Québec in 2017 for her book of poetry, Femmes des Terres brûlées, published at Éditions de La Pleine Lune. Considerate of the world that surrounds her, her pieces often find their anchor in contemporary social reality.

Marie-Célie Agnant's profile page

Katia Grubisic's poems and short stories, translations, and reviews have appeared in numerous periodicals, including the Globe and Mail, Books in Canada, Arc, the Antigonish Review, the Croatian Reader, CV2, ellipse, the Nashwaak Review, Grain Magazine, and Matrix. She is presently an editor for the New Quarterly and formerly a member of the editorial boards for Qwerty and the Fiddlehead. Her work has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards and the Descant / Winston Collins Prize for poetry. She presently lives in Montreal.

Katia Grubisic's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The work is shaped through a rich, crafted language that creates an acute awareness of what duvalierism was. This considerable effort is not a catharsis, nor an anamnesis; rather, it is the heart-rending testimony of the suffering, the inner struggles and the stand against Duvalierism of a woman caught in the midst of a regime that redefined the heights of horror."
—Alain Saint-Victor, Potomitan

"Marie-Celie Agnant's work is noble: she names and narrates terrible emotions and chaos, yet always in a sensitive and poetic way. The fate of the women in her books is not sealed by the torment of their daily lives, but in the humanity of each one. Through these portraits of women—courageous women, women who are full of hope, even without underestimating the weight on their shoulders—Agnant shows us the pain they carry from one generation to the next."
—Le Fil Rouge

"Breathless: that was the state in which I found myself in after reading Marie-Célie Agnant's work. This was the first time that I was speechless after reading a book. I am without words: the words to describe it, without the words to recount the story, the words to articulate what matters most. The essence of the book cannot be resolved in a sentence or summary. After finishing the novel, only the emotions remain, some more intense than others. Rage, powerlessness, anger, love, and friendship unfold, and coalesce into love, anger, and madness. In order to create this emotional amalgam, you have to have lived it, felt what the characters feel, you have to have experienced this tragedy—and above all, come out of it more alive, and stronger...Marie-Célie Agnant isn't just telling a story. She has become the interpreter of a voice, the living witness of a time, an era. Marie-Célie Agnant awakens memory and conscience."
—Rachel Vorbe, Le Nouvelliste

Other titles by Marie-Célie Agnant

Other titles by Katia Grubisic