Eve Out of Her Ruins
Ananda Devi, Cecile Menon, Angeline Rothermundt, Jeffrey Zuckerman
Winner of the 2017 CLMP Firecracker Award for Fiction
“Devi writes about terrible and bitter events with a soft, delicate voice.” — Le Figaro
Included in World Literature Today’s “75 Notable Translations of 2016”
With brutal honesty and poetic urgency, Ananda Devi relates the tale of four young Mauritians trapped in their country’s endless cycle of fear and violence: Eve, whose body is her only weapon and source of power; Savita, Eve’s best friend, the only one who loves Eve without self-interest, who has plans to leave but will not go alone; Saadiq, gifted would-be poet, inspired by Rimbaud, in love with Eve; Clelio, belligerent rebel, waiting without hope for his brother to send for him from France.
Eve out of Her Ruins is a heartbreaking look at the dark corners of the island nation of Mauritius that tourists never see, and a poignant exploration of the construction of personhood at the margins of society. Awarded the prestigious Prix des cinq continents upon publication as the best book written in French outside of France, Eve Out of her Ruins is a harrowing account of the violent reality of life in her native country by the figurehead of Mauritian literature.
The book features an original introduction by Nobel Prize winner J.M.G. Le Clezio, who declares Devi “a truly great writer.”
Ananda Devi (b. 1957, Trois-Boutiques, Mauritius) is a novelist and scholar. She has published eleven novels as well as short stories and poetry, and was featured at the PEN World Voices Festival in New York in 2015. She was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 2010.
'The power of this haunting novel is its universality; the stark contrast between the pleasures of the rich and the struggles of the poor has been explored previously, but Devi breathes new life into a familiar conflict by offering four interwoven perspectives, with each narrator affected differently and tragically by the impossibility of changing their circumstances. The beauty of Devi's prose belies the horror of the world she conjures up. This is a visceral portrait of violence rendered honestly and gracefully.' - Publishers' Weekly (starred review) 'Devi's novel is of a piece with an important strand in postcolonial feminist writing that locates the central tragedy of survival in the necessity of repeated leave-takings, which are always acts of betrayal-betrayal of home, of history, of nation, of those who stayed.' (Anjuli Raza Kolb, Bookforum) 'It could be a manifesto for reading translated fiction, and this stunning short novel is a perfect starting point.' (Deborah Smith, The Guardian) 'Devi's prose is both thoughtful and torrential in its force.' (Le Monde) 'One of the major literary voices of the Indian Ocean.' (PEN American Centre) A remarkable book that is as much a call to action as it is a love story, Devi beautifully juxtaposes the beauty and despair of the island through her dreamy, ethereal prose, and the audacity of her characters' ambition.' (The Gazette, USA)
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