FICTION

Tropic of Violence

. Graywolf. May 2020. 160p. from French by Geoffrey Strachan. ISBN 9781644450246. pap. $16. LITERARY.
COPY ISBN
After two recent stunners, The Last Brother and Waiting for Tomorrow, the Mauritian-born, French-based Appanah returns to cement her reputation as a leading world writer. The setting is Mayotte, an island in the Mozambique Channel (and a départment of France) suffering from the poverty and violence that seem inevitably a legacy of postcolonialism. Outspoken nurse Marie, separated from her husband and desperate for a child, accepts a baby with bicolored eyes shoved at her by a superstitious refugee. She names him Moïse and raises him lovingly but dies when he is a teenager, her spirit remaining to help narrate the tragedy that unfolds in this multivoiced work. Joined by his beloved dog, the gentle Moïse ends up in a corrosively ugly slum called Gaza with a children’s gang led by the cruel and bullying Bruce.
VERDICT Appanah’s heartrending, insightful story makes us understand--and feel--the steps leading toward bloody confrontation in this relentless world.

 

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month