EWU Title » Poetry in Translation
Red Earth / Latérite
Cast in a language at once as stark and as pregnant with possibility as the West African landscape itself, this prizewinning collection of poems by acclaimed African writer and artist Véronique Tadjo cuts to the heart of the modern African experience. The term latérite refers to the red, iron-rich earth characteristic of many West African villages and roads. Suggestive of movement—of the age-old displacement of African peoples, of shifting directions and an uncertain future—it is at the same time emblematic of connectedness, of the visceral bond between people and the land that sustains them. These themes echo throughout Red Earth / Latérite as the poems slowly intertwine, recapitulating one another to form an extended recitative, a lyrical narrative of love and outrage and loss. Together, they constitute a vivid statement about the African experience from on of the continent's most powerful and spellbinding voices.
Born in Paris and raised in Ivory Coast, Véronique Tadjo is the author of numerous works of fiction and poetry and of The Shadow of Imana (2000), a series of reflections on the genocide in Rwanda. In 2005, she was honored with the prestigious Grand Prix Littéraire d'Afrique Noire, awarded each year by the Association des Écrivains de Langues Françaises to an author from French-speaking Africa for the body of his or her work. She is currently based in Johannesburg.
Peter S. Thompson
Translator Peter S. Thompson teaches Romance languages and literatures at Roger Williams University. The author of numerous publications, he ahs contributed extensively to the study of creolity and francophone writing worldwide.
[The poems of Red Earth / Latérite create] a comprehensive tale of life—"Life in all colors: green and unripe; bitter and bittersweet." And it is the art with which this tale is carried through that has established Véronique Tadjo as one of the most accomplished writers of her generation, a fact to which this translation bears ample witness.
—F. Abiola Irele, author of The African Imagination
To purchase Red Earth / Latérite by Véronique Tadjo, please contact our distributor, University Press of New England toll free at 1-800-421-1561 or by fax at 1-603-448-9729. The book is also available online at UPNE, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine retailers.
To request a copy for review, please contact the Carnegie Mellon University Press Editorial Offices at (412) 268-2861 or by email at CarnegieMellonUniversityPress@gmail.com.