Véronique Tadjo

Véronique Tadjo on Crowdcast on Tuesday, 3/1 at 6PM!

Poet, novelist, and artist from Côte d’Ivoire, Véronique Tadjo will discuss her timely novel, In the Company of Men. Winner of prestigious awards in its original French, this powerful, fable-like book about the Ebola outbreak in a small West African village is now available in English and is ultimately a story of hope.

"Resonant, unflinching...As personal and humane as it is biblically grand...a timely testament to the destructive powers of pandemics." —Publishers Weekly

About the book: 
Drawing on real accounts of the Ebola outbreak that devastated West Africa, this poignant, timely fable reflects on both the strength and the fragility of life and humanity's place in the world.

Two boys venture from their village to hunt in a nearby forest, where they shoot down bats with glee, and cook their prey over an open fire. Within a month, they are dead, bodies ravaged by an insidious disease that neither the local healer's potions nor the medical team's treatments could cure. Compounding the family's grief, experts warn against touching the sick. But this caution comes too late: the virus spreads rapidly, and the boys' father is barely able to send his eldest daughter away for a chance at survival.

In a series of moving snapshots, Véronique Tadjo illustrates the terrible extent of the Ebola epidemic, through the eyes of those affected in myriad ways: the doctor who tirelessly treats patients day after day in a sweltering tent, protected from the virus only by a plastic suit; the student who volunteers to work as a gravedigger while universities are closed, helping the teams overwhelmed by the sheer number of bodies; the grandmother who agrees to take in an orphaned boy cast out of his village for fear of infection. And watching over them all is the ancient and wise Baobab tree, mourning the dire state of the earth yet providing a sense of hope for the future.

Acutely relevant to our times in light of the coronavirus pandemic, In the Company of Men explores critical questions about how we cope with a global crisis and how we can combat fear and prejudice.

About the author:
Véronique Tadjo
is a writer, poet, novelist, and artist from Côte d’Ivoire. She earned a doctorate in Black American Literature and Civilization from the Sorbonne, Paris IV, and went to the United States as a Fulbright scholar at Howard University in Washington, DC. She headed the French Department of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg up until 2015. Her books have been translated into several languages, from The Blind Kingdom (1991) to The Shadow of Imana: Travels in the Heart of Rwanda (2001) and Queen Pokou: Concerto for a Sacrifice (2005), which was awarded the Grand Prix de Littérature d’Afrique noire 2005.

Event date: 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 2:00pm

Event address: 

Online on Crowdcast
In the Company of Men Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781635420951
Availability: Available to Ship From Our Warehouse
Published: Other Press - February 23rd, 2021

Far from My Father (CARAF Books: Caribbean and African Literature Translated from French) Cover Image
By Véronique Tadjo, Amy Baram Reid (Translator)
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780813935638
Availability: Available to Ship From Our Warehouse
Published: University of Virginia Press - April 7th, 2014

The Little Girl Who Didn't Want to Grow Up* Cover Image
$16.49
ISBN: 9789382454359
Availability: Available to Ship From Our Warehouse
Published: Katha - December 23rd, 2015