Harvard Book Store welcomes editor and translator JEFFREY ZUCKERMAN for a discussion of his experience translating ANANDA DEVI’s acclaimed novel The Living Days for an English-reading audience. He will be joined in conversation by ANNABEL L. KIM, Harvard professor and scholar of French fiction.
A chance encounter on Portobello Road incites an unsettling, magnetic attraction between Mary, a seventy-five-year-old white British spinster, and Cub, a thirteen-year-old Jamaican boy from Brixton. Mary clings increasingly to phantoms as dementia overtakes her reality, latching on to Cub and channeling her remaining energy into their relationship. But their macabre romance comes to a horrific climax, as white supremacy, poverty, and class conflict explode on the streets of London.
Through exquisite juxtaposition, Ananda Devi uses alluring prose to confront the tensions of an increasingly nationalistic metropolis, and to examine the queasy nature of desire muddled with power.
“Beautifully written, visceral, and ecstatic. Unafraid, as angels might be, to bear witness to the force of entropy pulling us all toward death.” —Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young
“Jeffrey Zuckerman’s translation is perfect in its power and precision, a magnificent gem.”
—Jennifer Croft, translator of Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
“The finest Mauritian novelist at work today, Ananda Devi has long been the francophone saint of the outcast, the oppressed, and the derelict. This fluid translation of one of her darkest works gives the reader a glimpse at her profound talent and her unique ability to synthesize political rage with poetic lyricism.” —Adam Hocker, Albertine
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.