ISBN-10: 1941920403
ISBN-13: 9781941920404
Publisher: Deep Vellum Publishing
Publish Date: 09/13/2016
Dimensions: 8.20" L, 5.20" W, 0.50" H

Eve Out of Her Ruins

Translator: Jeffrey Zuckerman
Introduction by: J M G Le Clézio


Price: $14.95


Winner of the 2017 CLMP Firecracker Award for Fiction

Devi writes about terrible and bitter events with a soft, delicate voice. — Le Figaro

Included in World Literature Today‘s 75 Notable Translations of 2016

With brutal honesty and poetic urgency, Ananda Devi relates the tale of four young Mauritians trapped in their country’s endless cycle of fear and violence: Eve, whose body is her only weapon and source of power; Savita, Eve’s best friend, the only one who loves Eve without self-interest, who has plans to leave but will not go alone; Saadiq, gifted would-be poet, inspired by Rimbaud, in love with Eve; Clélio, belligerent rebel, waiting without hope for his brother to send for him from France.

Eve out of Her Ruins is a heartbreaking look at the dark corners of the island nation of Mauritius that tourists never see, and a poignant exploration of the construction of personhood at the margins of society. Awarded the prestigious Prix des cinq continents upon publication as the best book written in French outside of France, Eve Out of her Ruins is a harrowing account of the violent reality of life in her native country by the figurehead of Mauritian literature.

The book featurues an original introduction by Nobel Prize winner J.M.G. Le Clézio, who declares Devi a truly great writer.

Ananda Devi (b. 1957, Trois-Boutiques, Mauritius) is a novelist and scholar. She has published eleven novels as well as short stories and poetry, and was featured at the PEN World Voices Festival in New York in 2015. She was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 2010.


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One of Devi and Zuckerman's greatest triumphs in this book is that each character has their own distinct rhythms, with power and poetry drawn from the cadences of their speech... It could be a manifesto for reading translated fiction, and this stunning short novel is a perfect starting point. – Deborah Smith, The Guardian

The beauty of Devi's prose belies the horror of the world she conjures up. This is a visceral portrait of violence rendered honestly and gracefully. – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"Eve Out of Her Ruins is a spare, traumatic and enriching novel, newly and superbly translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman... Her characters emerge from the page with arresting immediacy and startling vividness. This is a novel that can take you to fathomless depths. – Matthew Adams, The National

"Zuckerman's translation is artful... While descriptive, the sparse language adds to the sense of hopelessness and the scarcity in which the characters live." – Hannah Wise, Dallas Morning News

The most vivid novel I've read in ages, magnificently translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman. The gorgeous, profoundly poetic writing is completely mesmerizing and viscerally affecting." – Jennifer Croft, BTBA 2017 Judge

The desolate, poor, and often-violent lives of the island's inhabitants are exposed in the stark and lyrical prose of Ananda Devi's brief and revealing novel... Devi's trenchant yet terse prose perfectly captures the lives of these sad and forgotten outcasts from this small island nation." – Melissa Beck, World Literature Today

"A remarkable book that is as much a call to action as it is a love story, Devi beautifully juxtaposes the beauty and despair of the island through her dreamy, ethereal prose, and the audacity of her characters' ambition." – Laura Farmer, Cedar Rapids Gazette

Eve's coping, her delicious revenge and small acts of goodness by other characters give the translation a hopeful tone. Eve sidesteps poverty and abuse – the true antagonists in the novel – and Devi's poetic writing provides portraits of characters who force their own bodies into mattering. – Allison Cundiff, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"In this heartbreaking lightning-paced novel, Ananda Devi burns down all of the colonialist stereotypes surrounding the island, instead depicting a place that has been devastated by history and anguish." – Adam Hocker, Staff Pick at Albertine Books

A story that stays with the reader long after it's read. – Michael Barron, The Culture Trip

a novel of conversations, emotions, aspirations, and setbacks... This is a novel of haunting language with a powerful message about gender and violence. – Terry Pitts, Vertigo

"Devi's powerful novel has stuck with me weeks after finishing and Zuckerman's lively translation captures the intensity of the daily struggle for life the teens face." – Caitlin Baker, Seattle City Literature

"Zuckerman's translation is confident and accomplished, capturing the marine clarity of the prose without losing any of its poetic heat." – Anjuli Raza Kolb, Bookforum

"[Eve's] journey, harrowing and doomed as it may be, is described with unforgettable poetry and power." –Willard Manus, Lively Arts

This slim volume is such a harrowing experience, some may balk at continuing once the fate of the titular Eve becomes clear... If one of [translator Jeffrey Zuckerman's] key objectives was to retain the spare poetry of her native prose, he has triumphed. For while the events that take place against a stark backdrop of political instability and social injustice are difficult to acknowledge, the language of Eve Out of Her Ruins is irresistable. – Gary Kaill, The Skinny

Set in a poor section of Port-Louis, Mauritius, this prize-winning novel is a poetic and intense exploration of young lives thrown away by society. Told in four different voices and haunted by the specter of Rimbaud, Devi explores, the violence, identity, and dreams of young people living discarded lives. For fans of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing and Jean Genet. – Josh Cook, Porter Square Books

"Heartbreaking and honest." – The Wild Detectives bookstore, Dallas

The emblematic figurehead of Mauritian literature. – Le Monde

One of the most gorgeous things I've read in a long time... the book reads as a beautiful and complex chord whose disharmonies combine into something shimmering and fragilely resonant." – Sarah McCarry, The Rejectionist

"With every page, I fall more in love with this book." – Lissie Jaquette

Turning her back on the illusion of eternal youth, Devi focuses unflinchingly on that tipping point in life that only women can understand, since where sex is concerned men and women must forever remain mutually unintelligible. Yes, here is a truly great writer, since when we finish Devi's book we are unlikely to know what has motivated her to write such a story, such a cry of protest. But its music, its powerful grip on the reader...give us a glimpse inside the cave where once a love-struck monk, under the spell of the dark angel of the imagination, succeeded in creating the miracle all artists dream of, reshaping reality according to his desires. – J.M.G. Le Clézio, Le Novel Observateur

Devi writes about terrible and bitter events with a soft, delicate voice. – Le Figaro

One of the major literary voices of the Indian Ocean. – PEN American Centre

The work of Ananda Devi is both tragic and poetic. Haunted by the issues of exclusion, of otherness, deviance and suffering, it denounces the stifling climate of a stands against any form of rejection and offers a genuine commitment...for the recognition of otherness. – Véronique Braggart

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ISBN-10: 1941920403
ISBN-13: 9781941920404
Publisher: Deep Vellum Publishing
Publish Date: 09/13/2016
Dimensions: 8.20" L, 5.20" W, 0.50" H
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