A timeless story between foundational tale and myth
When Salina dies, it falls to her youngest son to tell her story, a story of violence and suffering, vengeance and passion. Exiled three times, the first time as a new–born abandoned outside a village by a mysterious horseman, Salina was taken in and raised by a clan that only ever saw her as a stranger and an enemy to be defeated. Three times a mother, her children born from strife, Salina never knew love, and revenge became her reason to live.
To gain admittance to the cemetery, to a place of peace at last, Salina’s son must face up and tell the tale of Salina’s ordeals – her rape the most harrowing – in minute detail. He has no choice but to give voice to all that for years fed into Salina’s rage.
With this short novel set in an ancestral world, Laurent Gaudé explores a narrative space where time flows to rhythmic rituals, where fate blurs to legend, and secrets become myth.
Laurent Gaudé is a French novelist and playwright. After being nominated for the 2002 Prix Concourt with The Death of King Tsongor, he won the award in 2004 for his novel The House of Scorta. Europa Editions published his novel Hear Our Defeats in February 2019.