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Fabienne Kanor. Translated by Lynn E. Palermo

BUY Cloth · 212 pp. · 5.5 × 8.5 · ISBN 9780813944685 · $59.50 · Sep 2020
BUY Ebook · 212 pp. · ISBN 9780813944708 · $29.50 · Sep 2020
BUY Paper · 212 pp. · 5.5 × 8.5 · ISBN 9780813944692 · $29.50 · Sep 2020

While researching in Nantes, a port city enriched by the slave trade, celebrated French novelist Fabienne Kanor came across a chilling report written in 1774 by the commander of a slave ship, Le Soleil. Captain Louis Mosnier recounted the loss of valuable "cargo" when fourteen African women escaped from the ship’s hold to leap overboard rather than face enslavement. Half of them drowned or were eaten by sharks.

From this tragic incident, Kanor has composed a powerful, polyphonic novel in which each woman tells her own vivid story. Their disparate lives from differing cultures, conditions, and perspectives intersect through their violent mistreatment, profound sense of disorientation, and collective act of resistance. These intertwined narratives reveal the brutalizing effects of slavery, not only on the victim but also on the oppressor: the master can no more escape its dehumanizing effects than can the slave.


[Kanor] plunges us in the holds of a slave ship in 1774.... Her short, suspended sentences allow immersion in the heart of these agonizing journeys that punctuated the sad episode of slavery.

Le Nouvel Observateur

[A] tragic tale... important.

Literary Hub

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