Translated from French by Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott.
Kerim Neto returns to his hometown, a city on Africa's Atlantic coast, to search for Mina, his former model, lover, and muse. But Mina has disappeared. He combs the streets and byways he has known, hoping to find her. He questions his old friends from the theatre, with whom he and Mina had performed and mocked the country's army and dictators. But these friends have now joined the establishment, they are now imams, preachers, and police informers.
Which Mina will Kerim find? Does she hide behind a veil? Or sing of the risen Christ? Will she bear the marks of torture? He has returned to a nation steeped in fear, where power lies in the hands of evil forces; where religions and superstition lull the minds, as the ancient gods look on.
Mina Among the Shadows is a hymn to immutable desire and love, the power of art and beauty, and the courage of ordinary men and women.
Edem Awumey was born in Lomé, Togo. He is the author of four previous novels. Descent into Night, the English translation of Explication de la nuit, won the prestigious Governor-General's Award for Translation in 2018. The other novels are Port-Melo (2006), which won the 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. Edem Awumey lives in Gatineau, Quebec.