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 run into her. He questions his old friends from the theatre, with whom he and Mina had performed, mocking the country's rulers, the army and dictators. But these friends have now joined the established order, become imams, preachers, and police informers. Which Mina will Kerim find? Will she be hidden behind a veil? Or sing of the risen Christ? Will she bear the marks of torture? In this novel the reader will discover an Africa where power lies in the hands of evil forces; a place that sells itself basely under the pretext of globalization; where religions compete for the minds of people with words of Allah or the Gospels, as the ancient Orishas look on.
Mina Among the Shadows is a hymn to immutable desire, the power of beauty, and the courage of women.
Edem Awumey was born in Togo, West Africa. After spending some years in France, he settled in Quebec, where he now lives in Gatineau. He has taught French literature in Montreal and Ottawa, and is the author of four previous novels: Port-Mélo (Gallimard 2006, Grand Prize for Literature in Black Africa); Les pieds sales (Boréal, Seuil, selected for the Prix Goncourt); Rose deluge (Boréal, Seuil, 2012); and Explication de le nuit (Boréal 2013, Mawenzi 2018, Governor General's Award for Translation).