The Living Days

Ananda Devi (Author) Jeffrey Zuckerman (Translator)
Available

Description

This novel of post-9/11 London is a masterful dissection of racism, aging, and the perturbing nature of desire. Ananda Devi's "fluid, poetic language memorably conjures a union of two outcasts" (The New Yorker).

A chance encounter on Portobello Road incites an unsettling, magnetic attraction between Mary, a seventy-five-year-old white British spinster, and Cub, a thirteen-year-old Jamaican boy from Brixton. Mary increasingly clings to phantoms as dementia overtakes her reality, latching on to Cub and channeling all of her remaining energy into their relationship. But their macabre romance comes to a horrific climax, as white supremacy, poverty, and class conflict explode on the streets of London.

Through exquisite juxtaposition, Devi uses lush prose to confront the tensions of an increasingly nationalistic metropolis, and the queasy nature of desire muddled with power.

"A gorgeously written, profoundly upsetting fairy tale of race, class, power, and desire." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Brutal and entirely believable, a gorgeous and haunting depiction of London and the real lives and memories of those unseen within it." --Publishers Weekly

Product Details

Price
$15.95  $14.67
Publisher
Feminist Press
Publish Date
November 05, 2019
Pages
174
Dimensions
5.2 X 0.6 X 7.9 inches | 0.45 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781936932702
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Ananda Devi was born in 1957 in Mauritius, noted for its confluence of diverse ethnic, cultural and linguistic identities. Devi won her first literary prize at the age of fifteen for a short story in a Radio France Internationale competition. After a few years spent in Congo-Brazzaville, Devi moved to Ferney-Voltaire in Switzerland in 1989, where she lives today. She has published twelve novels as well as short stories and poetry, and was featured at the PEN World Voices Festival in New York in 2015. Her literary awards include the Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie (2006) and Prix Télévision Suisse Romande (2007) for Ève de ses décombres, as well as the Prix Louis-Guilloux (2010) and the Prix Mokanda (2012) for other works. In 2010 Devi was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government and in 2014 she was awarded the Prix du Rayonnement de la langue et de la littérature françaises by the Académie Française. Her latest novel, Manger l'autre (2018) won the Prix Étonnants Voyageurs.

Jeffrey Zuckerman is digital editor of Music & Literature Magazine. His translations from French include Ananda Devi's Eve Out of Her Ruins (Deep Vellum 2016) and Antoine Volodine's Radiant Terminus (Open Letter 2017) as well as numerous texts by Marie Darrieussecq, Hervé Guibert, Régis Jauffret, and Kaija Saariaho, among others. A graduate of Yale University, his writing and translations have appeared in Best European Fiction, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Paris Review Daily, Tin House, and Vice. He is a recipient of a 2016 PEN/Heim Translation fund grant for his translation from the French of The Complete Stories of Hervé Guibert.

Reviews

Winner of a 2019 French Voices Award

"Devi is alert to the ways in which social forces, such as racism and ageism, are reshaping London's already complex post-colonial landscape, and her fluid, poetic language memorably conjures a union of two outcasts." --The New Yorker

"The language of the book flows in an unhindered style. . . . in this intriguing, highly unusual novel." --The Irish Times

"Devi maintains a careful balancing act to ensure that our protagonists provoke some degree of empathy and provide an engaging read." --Asymptote

"A gorgeously written, profoundly upsetting fairy tale of race, class, power, and desire." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Brutal and entirely believable, a gorgeous and haunting depiction of London and the real lives and memories of those unseen within it." --Publishers Weekly

"This is a novel of great beauty as well as discomfiting disclosure. Ananda Devi's writing challenges us to reconfigure our own beliefs about right and wrong and to look beyond our own lives to consider the reality of others." --New Internationalist

"A fierce portrait of our times. . . . Sensual and provocative writing, woven of dreams and nightmares, which slowly closes round the reader and holds them in its grasp." --Le Monde des Livres

"Old age always bears a private violence. Ananda Devi describes its inevitable symptoms whilst ever letting us glimpse an illusion of spring." --L'Humanité

"Jeffrey Zuckerman's translation is perfect in its power and precision, a magnificent gem." --Jennifer Croft, translator of Flights

"Beautifully written, visceral, and ecstatic. Unafraid, as angels might be, to bear witness to the force of entropy pulling us all toward death." --Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young

"The finest Mauritian novelist at work today, Ananda Devi has long been the francophone saint of the outcast, the oppressed, and the derelict. This fluid translation of one of her darkest works gives the reader a glimpse at her profound talent and her unique ability to synthesize political rage with poetic lyricism." --Adam Hocker, Albertine