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 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 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.