Fiction. Translated from the French by Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott. From Goncourt Prize finalist 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.
Goncourt Prize finalist Edem Awumey was born in Togo in 1975. His first novel, Port-Mélo (2006), was published in France by Gallimard, and was winner of one of Africa's most distinguished literary awards. Les Pieds sales was long-listed for the Goncourt in 2009. He lives in Gatineau, Quebec.Author City: GATINEAU, QC CAN