Description: A chance encounter on Portobello Road incites an unsettling, magnetic attraction between Mary, an elderly white woman, and Cub, a British-Jamaican boy, and drives her crumbling world into heightened delusion. The two struggle to keep their footing as white supremacy, desperation and class conflict collide on the streets of London. Through exquisite juxtaposition, Ananda Devi exposes the tensions of an increasingly nationalistic and polarised metropolis. At once realistic and fantastical, The Living Days encapsulates Devi's daring, unflinching talent and paints an unforgettable portrait of London at it's most bewitching, and most dangerous.
Review: `Beautifully written, visceral and ecstatic. Unafraid, as Angels might be, to bear witness to the force of entropy pulling us all towards death.' (Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young). `A demanding and important book by a true artist and a great writer'.' (Lara Pawson, author of This Is the Place To Be).`The finest Mauritian novelist at work today, Ananda Devi has long been the francophone saint of the outcast, the oppressed, and the derelict. This fluid translation of one of her darkest works gives the reader a glimpse at her profound talent and her unique ability to synthesize political rage with poetic lyricism.' (Adam Hocker, Albertine). 'A fierce portrait of our times. . . Sensual and provocative writing, woven of dreams and nightmares, which slowly closes around the reader and holds them in its grasp.' (Le Monde des Livres). 'Old age always bears a private violence. Ananda Devi describes its inevitable symptoms whilst ever letting us glimpse an illusion of spring.' (L'Humanite). 'Brutal and entirely believable, a gorgeous and haunting depiction of London and the real lives and memories of those unseen within it.' (Publishers Weekly). 'A gorgeously written, profoundly upsetting fairy tale of race, class, power, and desire.' (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). 'A meditation on urban inequality, in which the politics of race and class loom large' (Guardian).'This is a novel of great beauty as well as discomfiting disclosure. Ananda Devi's writing challenges us to reconfigure our own beliefs about right and wrong and to look beyond our own comfortable lives to consider the reality of others. ' (Jo Lateu, New Internationalist, March/April 2020). 'Devi is alert to the ways in which social forces, such as racism and ageism, are reshaping London's already complex post-colonial landscape, and her fluid, poetic language memorably conjures a union of two outcasts.' (The New Yorker).
Prizes: Winner of French Voices Award 2019.
Author Biography: Ananda Devi was born in 1957 in Mauritius, and currently lives in Switzerland. She is the award-winning author of twelve novels as well as short stories and poetry. Devi is the recipient of the 2020 Bay Area Book Festival/Words Without Borders grant. Jeffrey Zuckerman is digital editor of Music & Literature magazine. He also translated Devi's Eve Out of Her Ruins.