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CARAF Books: Caribbean and African Literature translated from the French

The CARAF Books series is designed to make available to a public of English-speaking readers the works of contemporary francophone writers in the Caribbean and Africa that have been heretofore unavailable in English. For students, scholars, and general readers, CARAF offers selected novels, short stories, plays, poetry, and essays that have attracted attention across national boundaries, offering valuable insights into a highly varied group of complex and evolving cultures.

Series Editors: Renée Larrier and Mildred Mortimer
UVP Editor: Eric Brandt

View the CARAF Proposal Guidelines


The Leopard Boy

Daniel Picouly. Translated by Jeanne Garane. Afterword by Jeanne M. Garane

October 15, 1793: the eve of Marie-Antoinette’s execution. The Reign of Terror has descended upon revolutionary France, and thousands are beheaded daily under the guillotine. Edmond Coffin and Jonathan Gravedigger, two former soldiers now employed in disposing of the dead, are hired to... More


Memory at Bay

Evelyne Trouillot. Translated by Paul Curtis Daw. Afterword by Jason Herbeck

Winner of the prestigious Prix Carbet--an award won by such distinguished authors as Maryse Condé, Jamaica Kincaid, and Raphaël Confiant-- Memory at Bay is now available in an English translation that brings to life this powerful novel by one of Haiti’s most vital authors, Évelyne Trouillot... More


Arabic as a Secret Song

Leïla Sebbar. Translated by Skyler Artes. Afterword by Mildred Mortimer

The celebrated and highly versatile writer Leïla Sebbar was born in French colonial Algeria but has lived nearly her entire adult life in France, where she is recognized as a major voice on the penetrating effects of colonialism in contemporary society. The dramatic contrast between her past... More


The Other Side of the Sea

Louis-Philippe Dalembert. Translated by Robert H. McCormick Jr.. Foreword by Edwidge Danticat

The Other Side of the Sea, the first novel by this major Haitian author to be translated into English, is riveted on the other shore--whether it is the ancestral Africa that still haunts Haitians, the America to which so many have emigrated, or even that final shore, the uncertain afterlife... More


The Fury and Cries of Women

Angèle Rawiri. Translated by Sara Hanaburgh. Afterword by Cheryl Toman

Gabon’s first female novelist, Angèle Rawiri probed deeper into the issues that writers a generation before her—Mariama Bâ and Aminata Sow Fall—had begun to address. Translated by Sara Hanaburgh, this third novel of the three Rawiri published is considered the richest of her fictional prose... More


Far from My Father

Véronique Tadjo. Translated by Amy Baram Reid. Afterword by Amy Baram Reid

"To attain some sort of universal value," Véronique Tadjo has said, "a piece of work has to go deep into the particular in order to reveal our shared humanity." In Far from My Father, the latest novel from this internationally acclaimed author, a woman returns to the Côte d'Ivoire after her... More


Climb to the Sky

Suzanne Dracius. Translated by Jamie Davis. Afterword by Edwin C. Hill Jr.

Climb to the Sky collects a novella and eight stories by one of the most celebrated and versatile French Caribbean writers, Suzanne Dracius. Set in the author’s native Martinique and spanning the twentieth century, these narratives display a powerful grasp of the individual set against an... More


Land and Blood

Mouloud Feraoun. Translated by Patricia Geesey. afterword by Patricia Geesey

In Land and Blood, his second novel, the Algerian-Kabyle writer Mouloud Feraoun offers a detailed portrait of life for Algerian Kabyles in the 1920s and 1930s through the story of a Kabyle-Berber man, Amer. Like many Kabyle men of the 1930s, Amer leaves his village to work in the coal mines... More


At the Café and The Talisman

Mohammed Dib. Translated by C. Dickson. afterword by Mildred P. Mortimer

Reflecting distinct and important stages in the career of the preeminent Algerian writer Mohammed Dib, "At the Café" and "The Talisman" brings together two collections that embroider on themes relating to the Algerian War for Independence (1954–1962). At the Café, published in 1955, is... More


The Little Peul

Mariama Barry. Translated by Carrol F. Coates. Introduction by Irène Assiba d'Almeida

Born in Dakar but of Guinean origin, Mariama Barry claims both Senegal and Guinea as "her" countries. This dual background lends her significant and widespread visibility not only because she is the first woman writer of Guinea to have gained extensive international recognition but also... More


Aunt Résia and the Spirits and Other Stories

Yanick Lahens. Translated by Betty Wilson. Foreword by Edwidge Danticat. Introduction by Marie-Agnès Sourieau

The Haiti of Yanick Lahens's path-breaking short fiction is a country demanding our compassion as it reveals to us its horrors. For decades among the forefront of Haitian writers, Lahens has embarked on a renewal of the genre of short stories that she inherited from Caribbean—and especially... More


Above All, Don't Look Back

Maïssa Bey. translation by Senja L. Djelouah; introduction by Mildred P. Mortimer

Above All, Don't Look Back follows the path of a young woman—Amina—as she makes her way through a city, a life, and a sense of self that have been ravaged by an earthquake. In this powerful novel, inspired by a devastating earthquake in northern Algeria in 2003, the acclaimed Algerian... More


A Rain of Words

Irène Assiba d'Almeida, ed.. Translated by Janis A. Mayes

Although the past two decades have seen a wide recognition of the notable fiction written in French by African women, little attention has been given to their equally significant poetry. A Rain of Words is the first comprehensive attempt to survey the poetic production of these women,... More


I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem

Maryse Condé

This wild and entertaining novel expands on the true story of the West Indian slave Tituba, who was accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, arrested in 1692, and forgotten in jail until the general amnesty for witches two years later. Maryse Condé brings Tituba out of historical... More


The Abandoned Baobab

Ken Bugul. Translated by Marjolijn de Jager. With an introduction by Jeanne Garane

The subject of intense admiration--and not a little shock, when it was first published--The Abandoned Baobab has consistently captivated readers ever since. The book has been translated into numerous languages and was chosen by QBR Black Book Review as one of Africa’s 100 best books of the... More


Dog Days

Patrice Nganang. Translated by Amy Reid

"I am a dog," the narrator of Patrice Nganang's novel plainly informs us. As such, he has learned not to expect too much from life. He can, however, observe the life around him—in his case the impoverished but dynamic Cameroon of the early 1990s, a time known as les années de braise (the... More


The Land without Shadows

Abdourahman A. Waberi. Translated by Jeanne Garane. Foreword by Nuruddin Farah.

One of the first literary works to portray Djiboutians from their own point of view, The Land without Shadows is a collection of seventeen short stories. The author, Abdourahman A. Waberi, one of a handful of francophone writers of fiction to have emerged in the twentieth century from the "... More


The Poor Man's Son

Mouloud Feraoun. Translated by Lucy McNair with an Introduction by James D. Le Sueur

Like the autobiographical hero of this, his classic first novel, Mouloud Feraoun grew up in the rugged Kabyle region of French-controlled Algeria, where the prospects for most Muslim Berber men were limited to shepherding or emigrating to France for factory work. While Feraoun escaped such a... More


Exile: According to Julia

by Gisèle Pineau. Translated by Betty Wilson with an Afterword by Marie-Agnès Sourieau

Gisèle Pineau was born, and spent the first fourteen years of her life, in Paris. Her parents, originally from the island of Guadeloupe, were part of the massive transplantation of Antilleans to the métropole after World War II. Most had left their homeland hoping to improve their lives and... More


In the Flicker of an Eyelid

Jacques Stephen Alexis. Translated and with an afterword by Carrol F. Coates and Edwidge Danticat, with the 1983 preface by Florence Alexis

In his third novel, Jacques Stephen Alexis brings his characteristically vivid scenes, political consciousness, and powerful characters to the dramatic age-old question of whether a prostitute can leave "the life" to find her own identity and true love. La Niña Estrellita is pursuing her... More


The Story of The Madman

Mongo Beti

Widely acclaimed when first published in French in 1994, Mongo Beti's tenth novel, L'histoire du fou, continues the author's humorous yet fierce criticism of the colonial system in Africa and its legacy of governmental corruption. Translated here as The Story of the Madman, the novel... More


Waiting for the Vote of the Wild Animals

Ahmadou Kourouma. Translated by Carrol F. Coates. Afterword by Carrol F. Coates

Characterized as "the African Voltaire," Ahmadou Kourouma garnered enormous critical and popular praise upon the 1998 release of his third novel, En attendant le vote des bêtes sauvages. Kourouma received the Prix des Tropiques, among other prestigious prizes, for that book, and the French... More


It Shall Be of Jasper and Coral and Love-across-a-Hundred-Lives

Werewere Liking. Translated by Marjolijn de Jager

The West African writer, painter, playwright, and director Werewere Liking is considered one of the best literary interpreters of the postcolonial condition in Africa. Her first work to be translated into English, these two novels spare nothing in their satirical portraits of the patriarchal... More


Of Dreams and Assassins

Malika Mokeddem. Translated by Melissa Marcus

Of Dreams and Assassins is the urgent and rhythmic fourth novel of Malika Mokeddem, her second to appear in English. Born in Algeria to a Bedouin family that had only recently become sedentary, Mokeddem was raised on the stories of her grandmother, who encouraged her education at a time when... More


Of Dreams and Assassins

Malika Mokeddem. Translated by Melissa Marcus

Of Dreams and Assassins is the urgent and rhythmic fourth novel of Malika Mokeddem, her second to appear in English. Born in Algeria to a Bedouin family that had only recently become sedentary, Mokeddem was raised on the stories of her grandmother, who encouraged her education at a time when... More


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