The Neverending Quest for the Other Shore: An Epic in Three Cantos


Product Details

Wesleyan University Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.8 X 0.3 inches | 0.65 pounds

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About the Author

SYLVIE KANDÉ (New York, NY) is an award-winning poet and scholar. She is the author of three poetic collections published by Gallimard. Gestuaire (poèmes), published in 2016, was short-listed for the Prix Kowalski des Lycéens, and received the Prix Louise Labé in 2017. Having launched the program of Francophone studies at NYU, she now teaches as an Africanist in the SUNY system. ALEXANDER DICKOW (Blacksburg, VA) is a poet, translator, and scholar, and an associate professor of French at Virginia Tech. His books include Trial Balloons and Appetites.


Kandé deserves unabashed praise for her compelling blend of fiction and facts, dreams and myth, as well as speculative writing to create a new and experimental epic.--Abioseh Michael Porter, professor of English, Drexel University

This beautiful, unruly epic conjures three unsettling stories, moving between mythic and nightmarish, ancient and contemporary, awe-inspiring and devastating. In evocative, haunting language, Kandé takes us on a journey from which we may never return--at least, not unchanged.--Evie Shockley, author of Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry

Sylvie Kandé, through the telling of a legendary African expedition, has forged for herself a unique language, open, daring, off the beaten track. She is truly an original, writing at the crossroads of Africa, Europe, and America.--Paol Keineg, professor emeritus of romance studies, Duke University

Sensuous, desperate, cruel, ecstatic: Sylvie Kandé chants a mythic voyage from ancient Mali as the contemporary passage of migrants fleeing Africa for Europe. Alexander Dickow has found dreamlike, timeless cadences in English for this timeless and timely poem.--Rosanna Warren, author of Max Jacob: A Life in Art and Letters

Sylvie Kandé's The Neverending Quest for the Other Shore is a 'baroque ruckus, ' a saga, set on the Atlantic where waves become 'the valleys, the peaks and the cities of the dead.' The poet imagines the doomed voyage of Abubakar the Second who, according to legend, set sail for the 'extreme limit of the ocean' from Mali in the early 14th century. Bursting with people, spells, cries, chants, and 'whorls of incense' two thousand ships sail towards their destiny which, in Kandé's three cantos, erupt in vibrant lyric. A tour de force of erudition and songs.--Sandra Simonds, author of Atopia
Kandé's collection contributes to a rich collection of writing shining a light on the African immigrant experience.--Alesia Alexander, Brittle Paper