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3Nov

Dark Heart of The Night By Leonora Miano. Translated by Tamsin Black

DHOTN coverSet in a fictitious African village, Leonaroa Miano, the Cameroonian writer tells us the harrowing story of the people of Eku and the night they all wish never happened. Ayané, the protagonist of Miano’s story returns to her village after three years in France. Ostracised and referred to with disdain as the daughter of the ‘foreigner,’ as her late mother is from a different village.  However, Ayané is a woman of strong will and is not fighting to fit in. Instead, she considers her options to leave but all of this comes to a halt when the rebel soldiers lead by Isilo and his brothers Isango and Ibanga, invade their village and subject them to that which is beyond reason and comprehension.

From this point, Miano’s narrative leaps at you from the pages with pain as the most barbaric and callous act of ritual, which Isilo says will reunite Africa, is carried out by his soldiers, sentencing the villagers who are left powerless into an abyss of silence. A silence Ayané relentlessly tries to break by getting people to talk. Mioano explores the themes of family and relationships, power and submission, violence, responsibility, war and the trend which has held Africa and its children hostage for years, the atrocities committed by rebel soldiers. Dark heart of The Night brings to the forefront, the pain we inflict on each other based on beliefs and twisted ideologies.

Dark Heart of The Night is published by Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press

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