Eve Out of her Ruins by Ananda Devi (tr. Jeffrey Zuckerman)

Eve Out of Her Ruins

a nutshell: this is a stunningly moving novel that sees four adolescent Mauritians (Eve, Savita, Saadiq & Clélio) narrate their struggle for survival in an impoverished neighbourhood of Port Louis, the capital

a line: “I read as if books could loosen the noose tightening around my throat. I read to understand that there is somewhere else. A dimension where possibilities shimmer”

an image: at one point, Saad remarks that poverty is the harshest of jailers – a particularly resonant image given the trajectory of the story

a thought: I was interested in the moment when a teacher tells Saadiq, in three different languages, that he owes it to himself to succeed – afterwards I learned that most Mauritians are very multilingual, which makes Zuckerman’s beautiful translation (of French sprinkled with Creole phrases & unfamiliar syntax) all the more admirable

a fact: the novel was brought to the screen as The Children of Troumaron (2012), which is now firmly on my watchlist!

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