|About the Book|
Confined to a psychiatric hospital following the murder of her young daughter, Emma Bratte refuses to speak any language but her mother tongue. Dr. MacLeod has brought in an interpreter, Flore, to help him evaluate Emmas fitness to stand trial.Both crazy and too lucid, an articulate and knowledgeable Emma relates her long battle against despair, through striking images of her lonely but determined and creative struggle to win the love of a mother misled by a racist society and then through tales of the suffering and resistance of some of her female forebears. These narratives, which are both epic and dramatic, and their contrasting reception by the officious psychiatrist and the sensitive Flore, produce rich layers of experience and meaning in this concisely narrated work.Flore recognizes Emmas faithfulness to her ancestors struggle and their wisdom, both in her desperate gesture to save her child from the cruel humiliations of prejudice and in her definitive act of rejoining her ancestors when she has effectively fulfilled her duty to pass on the memory, theirs and hers, to guide her successors, like Flore.Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Marie-Célie Agnant has lived in Montreal since 1970. She is a poet, novelist, and storyteller for children and adults. Her work has been published originally in Quebec and France, and has been translated into Spanish, Dutch, English, Korean, and Italian.Translator Zilpha Ellis, a senior scholar at York University, taught in the Faculty of Arts Department of French Studies until 2004 and has also served as coordinator of the African Studies Programme.