Eve out of Her Ruins by Ananda Devi‘Devi’s prose is both thoughtful and torrential in its force.’ – Le Monde
With startling honesty and lyric power, Ananda Devi relates the tale of four young Mauritians bound together by the need to transcend their environment at any price: Eve, whose body is her only weapon and source of power; Savita, Eve’s best friend, the only one who loves her without self-interest; Saadiq, gifted would-be poet, inspired by Rimbaud, in love with Eve; and Clelio, 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 lives at the margins of society. Published in the UK for the first time, this celebrated novel won the 2006 Prix des cinq continents de la Francophonie.
‘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 unintelligble. 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.’
– J. M. G. Le Clezio
‘One of the major literary voices of the Indian Ocean.’ – PEN American Centre
Ananda Devi: ‘Identity is, to me, an exploration of all the possibilities of being. It is the opposite of monolithic ... As people tend to entrench themselves behind the barriers of a fixed, immutable identity, I believe our chance of survival is in the exact opposite: in embracing our hybridity, in accepting that identities are soluble in one another, in recognising that the other is ourselves.’
Eve Out of Her Ruins (2016) by Ananda Devi I Book Review
Eve de ses decombres
A harrowing account of the hidden violent reality of life in her native country by the figurehead of Mauritian literature. 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. The book features an original introduction by Nobel Prize winner J. Walking is hard. I limp, I hobble along on the steaming asphalt. With each step a monster rises, fully formed. The urban night swells, elastic, around me.
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All the more reason, then, to be excited about this latest release from boutique press Les Fugitives , which publishes French-language female authors previously unavailable in English, and CB Editions. I first came across Eve Out of Her Ruins when considering it for my own press, Tilted Axis , and was blown away by the sensual prose and startling images. Or, if only Devi had chosen to write in Mauritian Creole, or even Bhojpuri; like the majority of Mauritians, she is multilingual, meaning that translator Jeffrey Zuckerman had to grapple with a French using unfamiliar syntax and dotted with Creole phrases. Eve Out of Her Ruins is polyvocal in more ways than one, with chapters narrated by four teenage protagonists in turn. The overall effect is vertiginous; it is as though Eve has been unmoored from reality, pulled in contrary directions.
I was absolutely smashed by this book.
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It would be a mistake to call the absorbing Eve out of her Ruins a mystery novel or even a novel exclusively devoted to social realities. Born in in Mauritius, Ananda Devi uses her native island as the setting of her absorbing novel, Eve out of her Ruins. The story is woven from a series of monologues. The first love scene between Eve and Savita is especially striking. It is Eve who remembers this initial, initiatory encounter:. She wiped my brow. Then she leaned over and kissed me.