"Nearly impossible to put down." --NPR
In 1999, the Mauritian musician Joseph Réginald Topize, better known as Kaya, was arrested for smoking weed while performing at a concert. Following his death in police custody just days later, the island nation surged with violence in a long-overdue demand for justice from the marginalized populations of the African island off the coast of Madagascar.
In Kaya Days, the spirit of the island and its many people--Hindu, Muslim, Chinese, Franco-Mauritian, and Creole--is distilled into a young woman's daylong search through the uproar for her younger brother, who has gone missing. Amid burning cars and buildings, opportunists and revolutionaries, Santee rises into another world, a furious, brilliant one. An exhilarating journey into night from a small Hindu village to the big city, and from innocence into womanhood, Carl de Souza's surreal English-language debut, artfully translated from French by Jeffrey Zuckerman, is an explosion of politics and poetry, a humid dream-world of revolutionary fervor where seemingly anything--everything--is possible.
About the Author
Carl de Souza is a Mauritian novelist, short story writer, and academic. He began writing in French around 1980, with Halley's La Cométe receiving the Pierre Renaud Prize in Mauritius in 1986. His works are based on the history of Mauritius and its people. Kaya Days, a dramatization of the race riots following the death of the seggae singer Kaya, will be published by Two Lines Press in 2021 in translation from French by Jeffrey Zuckerman. It is his first work to be translated into English. He lives in Mont Piton, Mauritius.
Jeffrey Zuckerman is a translator of French, including books by the artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Dardenne brothers, the queer writers Jean Genet and Hervé Guibert, and the Mauritian novelists Ananda Devi, Shenaz Patel, and Carl de Souza. A graduate of Yale University, he has been a finalist for the TA First Translation Prize and the French-American Foundation Translation Prize, and he was awarded the French Voices Grand Prize for his translation of Pina. In 2020 he was named a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.