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Fiction Literary

Descent into Night

by (author) Edem Awumey

translated by Phyllis Aronoff & Howard Scott

Publisher
Mawenzi House Publishers Ltd.
Initial publish date
Nov 2017
Category
Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781988449166
    Publish Date
    Nov 2017
    List Price
    $22.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781988449210
    Publish Date
    Nov 2017
    List Price
    $9.99
  • Downloadable audio file

    ISBN
    9781773055572
    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price
    $28.99

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Description

Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award, Translation, 2018

Translated from French by Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott.

From Goncourt Prize finalist Edem Awumey, a beautiful and brilliant new novel.

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.

About the authors

Edem Uwumey was born in Togo in 1975. His first novel, Port-Melo, won the Grand Prix Litteraire de L’Afrique Noire, one of the most distinguished literary prizes in Africa, and his second novel, Les pieds sales (Dirty Feet), was a finalist for one of France’s most prestigious literary prizes, the Prix Goncourt. Awumey now lives in Canada where he is a teacher.

Edem Awumey's profile page

Phyllis Aronoff lives in Montreal. She has a Master’s degree in English literature. The Wanderer, her translation of La Québécoite by Régine Robin, won the 1998 Jewish Book Award for fiction. She and Howard Scott were awarded the 2001 Quebec Writers’ Federation Translation Award for The Great Peace of Montreal of 1701. She is currently president of the LTAC.

Phyllis Aronoff's profile page

Howard Scott translates poetry, fiction and non-fiction, often with co-translator Phyllis Aronoff, including works by Madeleine Gagnon, Kim Doré and Madeleine Monette, as well as numerous scholarly works in the humanities. He has also published translations of poetry by Madeleine Gagnon, Michel Pleau and Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, and science fiction by Élisabeth Vonarburg. In 1997, he won the Governor General’s Literary Award for English translation for The Euguelion, by Louky Bersianik. He is a past president of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada.

Howard Scott's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Artfully constructed, peppered with evocative phrasing, and skillfully translated, this beautiful volume is upsetting, poignant, and at times harrowing." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This is a novel of emotional complexity, of what it means to survive through trauma, and the repercussions of that survival." --Montreal Review of Books

"The poetical lyricism of the work intensifies the power of the horror of the story being told. The prose is an unflinching spotlight that shines directly into that morass of unspeakable events." --Lisa de Nikolits, author of No Fury Like That

"[T]the story of Ito Baraka takes the reader on a journey into the darkest places of the human mind . . ." --The African Book Review blog

"Un récit poignant et magnifiquement écrit." --La Presse

"Grave, tragique, dur, violent, mais porté par une écriture fiévreuse, embrasée. La surenchère poétique n'est pas loin . . ." --Le Devoir

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