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A New York Times outstanding Book
A San Francisco Chronicle top ebook of 2012
A Kirkus Reviews top ebook of 2012
Longlisted for The 2014 overseas IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award

From Marie NDiaye, the 1st black lady to win the Prix Goncourt, a harrowing and lovely novel of the travails of West African immigrants in France.
 
The tale of 3 ladies who say no: Norah, a French-born attorney who unearths herself in Senegal, summoned via her estranged father to avoid wasting one other sufferer of his paternity; Fanta, who leaves a cheerful existence as a instructor in Dakar to persist with her boyfriend again to France, the place his melancholy and dislocation poison every little thing; and Khady, a penniless widow placed out by way of her husband's kin with not anything however the identify of cousin in France. As those 3 lives intertwine, every one lady manages an excellent feat of self-preservation opposed to those that have made themselves the fastest-growing and most-reviled humans in Europe. In Marie NDiaye's lovely narration we see the development in which usual girls become aware of unimagined reserves of power.

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Khady held her hand out because the girl did. In an incomprehensible language humans hurled what should have been insults at them. a few spat at their ft. Others gave them bread. Khady was once so hungry she bit violently into the bread. Her fingers trembled. Her gums have been bleeding. They left lines of blood at the bread. yet her center was once beating lightly, evenly, and she or he felt a similar means: mild and calm, past achieve, shielded by means of her unshakable humanity. a short while later barking, shouting, and the sound of individuals operating echoed during the camp. infantrymen have been flattening the shacks, tearing off tarpaulin covers, and scattering the stones the place cooking fires were lit. one in all them grabbed Khady and ripped her batik off. She observed him hesitate and discovered he used to be repulsed by way of her skinny physique and the blackish marks on her epidermis. He punched her within the face and threw her at the flooring, his mouth twisted in anger and disgust. Later, a lot later, weeks and months later possibly, with each evening within the woodland feeling chillier than the final and the solar seeming each day to appear paler and hold reduce within the sky, the boys who’d been elected—or who’d appointed themselves—as leaders of the camp introduced that the attack at the fence may occur the day after subsequent. They trigger at evening, dozens and dozens of fellows and girls between whom Khady felt really flimsy, virtually impalpable, a trifling puff of wind. just like the others she used to be sporting a ladder, which, although mild, looked as if it would weigh greater than she did, simply as issues sometimes—absurdly—do in desires, and but, as her huge, immense center beat in the little bony cage of her fragile, burning chest, she limped alongside no slower than her partners. They walked for an extended whereas in silence throughout the wooded area, then over stony fields the place Khady stumbled and fell numerous instances, yet she picked herself up and lower back to her position within the crew, she who felt herself yet an infinitesimal displacement of air, a glacial nuance of the atmosphere—so chilly used to be she, so chilly via and during. They arrived eventually in a abandoned quarter bathed in a white gentle that resembled the brightness of the moon made incandescent, and Khady observed the fence they’d all been speaking approximately. As they moved ahead canines begun barking and pictures rang out. Khady heard a voice made strident and asymmetric by means of anxiousness: “They’re firing within the air,” then a similar individual, probably, shouted the agreed-upon sign, a unmarried be aware, and everybody started working towards the fence. She ran too. Her mouth was once large open yet she couldn’t breathe. Her eyes have been staring and her throat was once blocked. Already the fence used to be there and he or she leaned her ladder opposed to it. Then, rung via rung, she climbed up till she reached the pinnacle and gripped the fence. She may pay attention throughout her pictures being fired and cries of worry and discomfort. She couldn’t inform if she was once shouting too, or if it was once the sound of the blood throbbing in her cranium, enveloping her in an unending threnody. She attempted to head better, remembering boy had advised her you need to by no means, by no means cease mountain climbing till you’ve reached the head, however the barbed twine used to be tearing the outside off her arms and ft and she or he may possibly now pay attention herself screaming and believe blood working alongside her shoulders and down her hands.

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