The critically acclaimed, award-winning author of the classic historical novel Maryse Condé has pieced together the life of her maternal grandmother to create a moving and profound novel.
Maryse Condé's personal journey of discovery and revelation becomes ours as we learn of Victoire, her white-skinned mestiza grandmother who worked as a cook for the Walbergs, a family of white Creoles, in the French Antilles.
Using her formidable skills as a storyteller, Condé describes her grandmother as having "Australian whiteness for the color of her skin…She jarred with my world of women in Italian straw bonnets and men necktied in three-piece linen suits, all of them a very black shade of black. She appeared to me doubly strange."
Creating a work that takes readers into a time and place populated with unforgettable characters that inspire and amaze, Condé's blending of memoir and imagination, detective work and storytelling artistry, is a literary gem that readers won't soon forget.
On one hand, beautiful Celanire — a woman mutilated at birth and left for dead — appears today to be a saint; she is a tireless worker who has turned numerous neglected institutions into vibrant schools for motherless children. But she is also a woman apprehended by demons, as death and misfortune seem to follow in her wake. Traveling from Guadeloupe to West Africa to Peru, the mysterious, seductive, and disarming Celanire is driven to uncover the truth of her past at any cost and avenge the crimes committed against her.
With her characteristic blend of magical realism and fantasy, and inspired by a true story, Maryse Conde hauntingly imagines Celanire in an unforgettable novel — a most dazzling addition to the deeply prolific and widely celebrated author's brilliant body of work.
One dark night in Cape Town, Roselie's husband goes out for a pack of cigarettes and never comes back. Not only is she left with unanswered questions about his violent death but she is also left without any means of support. At the urging of her housekeeper and best friend, the new widow decides to take advantage of the strange gifts she has always possessed and embarks on a career as a clairvoyant. As Roselie builds a new life for herself and seeks the truth about her husband's murder, acclaimed Caribbean author Maryse Conde crafts a deft exploration of post-apartheid South Africa and a smart, gripping thriller."The Story of the Cannibal Woman" is both contemporary and international, following the lives of an interracial, intercultural couple in New York City, Tokyo, and Capetown. Maryse Conde is known for vibrantly lyrical language and fearless, inventive storytelling — she uses both to stunning effect in this magnificently original novel.