Beyond The Door of No Return
by David Diop
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Pub Date 5 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 14 Nov 2023
From the author of the International Booker Prize-winning At Night All Blood is Black: a moving and immersive adventure story set in eighteenth century Senegal
Paris, 1806. Michel Adanson is dying. The last word to escape his lips is a woman's name: Maram. Who was she? Why, in the course of his long life, has he never spoken of her before?
As Adanson's daughter sorts through his things, she discovers a notebook. It reveals a secret history both fantastical and terrible, of his time as a young botanist travelling in Senegal. How Adanson first heard of the 'revenant': a young woman of noble birth, abducted and sold into slavery across the seas, who then did the impossible-she came back, to live in hiding. How he became obsessed with finding her, embarking on an odyssey that would lead to danger and destruction. How a man who longed to solve the mysteries of nature instead found himself faced with the uncontrollable impulses of the human heart.
Tragic and tender, alive with feeling, this is a story of adventure, revenge and impossible desires, one which subverts our every expectation about who we are and who we love.
Praise for At Night All Blood is Black
'So incantatory and visceral I don't think I'll ever forget it' - Ali Smith, Guardian
'More than a century after World War I, a great new African writer [has written] a spare yet extraordinary novel about this bloody stain on human history' - Chigozie Obioma, New York Times Book Review
'An extraordinary novel, full of sadness, rage and beauty' Sarah Waters