The Silence of the Spirits

The Silence of the Spirits

By (author)  , Translated by  , Foreword by 

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Description

What are the limits of empathy and forgiveness? How can someone with a shameful past find a new path that allows for both healing and reckoning? When Clovis and Christelle find themselves face-to-face on a train heading to the outskirts of Paris, their unexpected encounter propels them on a cathartic journey toward understanding the other, mediated by their respective histories of violence. Clovis, a young undocumented African, struggles with the pain and shame of his brutal childhood, abusive exploits as a child soldier, and road to exile. Christelle, a young French nurse, has her own dark experiences but translates her suffering into an unusual capacity for empathy, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Christelle opens her home and heart to Clovis and presses him to tell his story. But how will she react to that story? Will the telling start Clovis on a path to redemption or alienate him further from French society? Wilfried N'Sonde's brave novel confronts French attitudes toward immigrants, pushes moral imagination to its limits, and constructs a world where the past must be confronted in order to map the future.show more

Product details

  • Book | 140 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 8.38mm | 187.33g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253028949
  • 9780253028945

Review quote

"N'Sonde makes it clear that his characters have been abandoned by the gods and are alone in the world, left to fend for themselves-but as the tale moves through the streets of Paris and in and out of past and present, it is just as clear that redemption is possible in the company of other people. Scarifying and memorable and worthy of a place alongside the best modern African writing." -Kirkus Reviews (Starred) "[N'Sonde has] a lyrical and bountiful style." -Virginia Bart, Le Monde "N'Sonde deploys a lively, rhythmic style that draws its precision from his experiences of exile and uprooted, recurring themes in his work." -Etonnants Voyageurs "A modern writer that never ceases to surprise his readers." -Histoires ordinaires "Whether writing or singing, Wilfried N'Sonde vibrates with a heritage he has embraced." -Histoires ordinaires "[From] the precise and poetic pen of the Congolese novelist Wilfried N'Sonde." -Tirthankar Chanda, Radio France Internationaleshow more

About Wilfried N'Sonde

Wilfried N'Sonde was born in 1969 in the Congo (Brazzaville) and grew up in France. He is widely considered one of the shining lights of the new generation of African and Afropean writers. His work has received considerable critical attention and been recognized with prestigious literary awards, including the Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie and the Prix Senghor de la creation litteraire.Karen Lindo is a scholar of French and francophone literatures and currently teaches and translates in Paris.Dominic Thomas is Professor of French and Francophone Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.show more