4 Books Published by Archipelago on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about The Barefoot Woman by Scholastique Mukasonga The Barefoot Woman

by Scholastique Mukasonga
Archipelago (Dec 18, 2018)
Read Detailed Book Description

A moving, unforgettable tribute to a Tutsi woman who did everything to protect her children from the Rwandan genocide, by the daughter who refuses to let her family’s story be forgotten.

The story of the author’s mother, a fierce, loving woman who for years protected her family from the violence encroaching upon them in pre-genocide Rwanda. Recording her memories of their life together in spare, wrenching prose, Mukasonga preserves her mother’s voice in a haunting work of art.


Click for more detail about Cockroaches by Scholastique Mukasonga Cockroaches

by Scholastique Mukasonga
Archipelago (Oct 25, 2016)
Read Detailed Book Description


Imagine being born into a world where everything about you—the shape of your nose, the look of your hair, the place of your birth—designates you as an undesirable, an inferior, a menace, no better than a cockroach, something to be driven away and ultimately exterminated. Imagine being thousands of miles away while your family and friends are brutally and methodically slaughtered. Imagine being entrusted by your parents with the mission of leaving everything you know and finding some way to survive, in the name of your family and your people.

Scholastique Mukasonga’s Cockroaches is the story of growing up a Tutsi in Hutu-dominated Rwanda—the story of a happy child, a loving family, all wiped out in the genocide of 1994. A vivid, bitterwsweet depiction of family life and bond in a time of immense hardship, it is also a story of incredible endurance, and the duty to remember that loss and those lost while somehow carrying on. Sweet, funny, wrenching, and deeply moving, Cockroaches is a window onto an unforgettable world of love, grief, and horror.


Click for more detail about Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga Our Lady of the Nile

by Scholastique Mukasonga
Archipelago (Sep 16, 2014)
Read Detailed Book Description

A Publishers Weekly Book of the Year for 2014

Shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award

"In part, this is a good-humored yearbook of the adventures and scandals among the all-girl school’s precocious teenage charges, where the greatest peril to morality is the arrival of a male teacher with long blond hair. But soon the school, abetted by its hypocritical administrators (including those Belgian civilizers), becomes a petri dish for Hutu militancy, and normal adolescent pranks take on horrifying consequences. The novel’s abrupt transition from a na�ve coming-of-age story to a violent tragedy is jarring—though surely it doesn’t even begin to convey the shock of the reality." - The Wall Street Journal

"[Mukasonga’s] deliciously limpid, melodious style makes Rwandan daily life vividly accessible ... Mukasonga expertly draws together all her threads and stories in climactic sequences to create a skillfully-orchestrated vision, both loving and fearful, of her beloved homeland ripped apart by vicious racial hatred." - Shelf Awareness

"Mukasonga helps readers without experience of the setting become immersed at once,
feeling out the tribal tensions without being overburdened with exposition. This is a moving,
nuanced portrait of fear and survival." - Publishers Weekly

"Mukasonga’s masterpiece ... The novel’s electricity comes from its deceptive lightness, the danse macabre of dorm intrigue on the cusp of Armageddon. But its core is a reckoning with the genocide’s deep origins, an unraveling of Rwanda’s colonial background that is also an allegory of its miseducation." — New York Review of Books

"We should [...] welcome the opportunity to read Mukasonga’s work in English. African francophone literature, and particularly that written by women, continues to be underrepresented in English, and as a result, we are not only missing out on compelling stories, but on an important political project. Scholastique Mukasonga, and likely many of her colleagues whom we have yet to translate, is working to correct the frustratingly persistent Western narratives about Africa and its history. [...] The West has indeed too often dismissed suffering in Africa, but books like Our Lady of the Nile remind us why we must not be dismissive, why we must not look away." - Madeleine LaRue, Music & Literature


"Our Lady of the Nile swept me up with its artful bitterness [...] [Our Lady of the Nile] is buoyed by its air of foreboding consequence that imparts urgency to almost every page." - Barnes & Noble Review

"Sneaky, lingering, her story evokes a sense of menace, and eventually a scene of full-blown violence, that sticks with you [...] Our Lady of the Nile, published in English twenty years after the massacre of the Tutsi people, is a political novel, addressing race, culture, gender. The brutality of the Hutu-Tutsi conflict is easily misunderstood. This book makes it human, brings it down to the level of the everyday. When the question of how such a thing could have happened is asked, the treacherous answer is here, in the mundane. By imagining the everyday lives of Rwandans, Mukasonga makes more sense of the climate leading up to the genocide than a stack of news articles does. From this slant, the novel does its work quietly and well, with its head down—the way a Tutsi student might have done at Our Lady of the Nile." - Bibi Deitz, Bookforum

"The novel reflects glimpses of a tension-filled past and slowly moves to uncover racial strife and the increase of genocidal actions against the Tutsi minority in Rwanda through the eyes of lyc�e girls enrolled at a Catholic boarding school that stands isolated on the Ikibira mountaintop by the river Nile, gated and guarded." World Literature Today


"What makes Mukasonga’s novel so effective is her ability to show how daily life continues alongside the omnipresent rhetoric of racial hatred and the threat of imminent violence ... Her novel is a portrait of the slow, excruciating build-up toward violence and Rwandans’ attempts to lead full, meaningful lives while contending with state-sponsored exclusion. It is both a glimpse into the particular history of Rwanda and a warning about ignoring the latent signs of violence and exclusion that are present today around the globe. Implicit in her novel are many pressing questions. What crises that will erupt in the coming decade will seem so painfully predictable in hindsight? And what, if anything, is her Western readership willing to do to prevent them?" —George S. MacLeod, Kenyon Review

..".Our Lady of the Nile is exquisitely well conceived, structured and constructed, entirely deserving of the Prix Renaudot it won, placing her in a line that includes previous winners C�line, Le Cl�zio and Weyergans." Bert Archer, The National Post

"In a writing style both rough and tender, Our Lady of the Nile depicts a society inevitably heading towards horror. [...] Poignant and tenacious." - Christine Rousseau, Le Monde

"Whoever has loved Africa will be touched by this story [...] It is the very essence of Africa, an immense Africa that will absorb even this terrible genocide." - Jo�l Prieur, Minute

"Strangely, it is in this incredibly light novel, that one best understands the ethnic, political, and religious reasons behind the massacre of the mysterious Tutsis." - Arnaud Viviant, Regards

"[After she was awarded the Prix Renaudot] I went out and procured every work by Scholastique Mukasonga. [...] Never has a prize been more merited." - Fr�d�ric Beigbeder, Lire

"In this well-constructed novel, the grim final scenes prefigure the horrors to come." - The Arts Fuse

"A quite powerful novel of Rwanda, Our Lady of the Nile gives a good sense of life and conditions there in the early 1970s — and the longstanding ethnic strife that took such a human toll, both before and after the period described here." - complete-review.com

"What makes Mukasonga’s novel so effective is her ability to show how daily life continues alongside the omnipresent rhetoric of racial hatred and the threat of imminent violence ... Her novel is a portrait of the slow, excruciating build-up toward violence and Rwandans’ attempts to lead full, meaningful lives while contending with state-sponsored exclusion. It is both a glimpse into the particular history of Rwanda and a warning about ignoring the latent signs of violence and exclusion that are present today around the globe. Implicit in her novel are many pressing questions. What crises that will erupt in the coming decade will seem so painfully predictable in hindsight? And what, if anything, is her Western readership willing to do to prevent them?" — George S. MacLeod, Kenyon Review


Click for more detail about Return to my Native Land by Aimé Césaire Return to my Native Land

by Aimé Césaire
Archipelago (Jun 03, 2014)
Read Detailed Book Description


A work of immense cultural significance and beauty, this long poem became an anthem for the African diaspora and the birth of the Negritude movement. With unusual juxtapositions of object and metaphor, a bouquet of language-play, and deeply resonant rhythms, Csaire considered this work a "break into the forbidden," at once a cry of rebellion and a celebration of black identity.

More praise:

"The greatest living poet in the French language."—American Book Review

"Martinique poet Aime Cesaire is one of the few pure surrealists alive today. By this I mean that his work has never compromised its wild universe of double meanings, stretched syntax, and unexpected imagery. This long poem was written at the end of World War II and became an anthem for many blacks around the world. Eshleman and Smith have revised their original 1983 translations and given it additional power by presenting Cesaire’s unique voice as testament to a world reduced in size by catastrophic events." —Bloomsbury Review

"Through his universal call for the respect of human dignity, consciousness and responsibility, he will remain a symbol of hope for all oppressed peoples." —Nicolas Sarkozy

"Evocative and thoughtful, touching on human aspiration far beyond the scale of its specific concerns with Cesaire’s native land - Martinique." —The Times




Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.