Cotton Blues (Forthcoming)

Translated from French by Phyllis Aronoff and Howard Scott.

In an African town somewhere between the Sahel and the Atlantic coast, cotton planter Toby Kunta takes a Berlin journalist hostage in a museum showroom. Kunta asks for compensation of several million francs for himself and a group of peasants ruined by the production of genetically modified cotton. As the tension rises inside the museum and a standoff begins with the chief of police, Kunta begins to burn the exhibited works one by one and threatens to do the same with his prisoner.

With this standoff behind closed doors, where words and gestures get exchanged with anger and hope, Edem Awumey takes us on a contemporary journey on the cotton road, from the African Savannah to the American South, from the luxurious salons of Berlin to the fields of Indian Rajasthan sprayed with glyphosate, from the valleys of Uzbekistan covered with white fibre to the spinning mills of Dhaka in Bangladesh. It is the novel of the crossing of worlds in a struggle against the domination of the multinationals. It is the great lamentation of the African people enslaved to the thirst for wealth in the West. It is a cry of freedom too long held back that finally bursts out with thunderous violence.


Publication Date: August 2024

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-77415-177-8
Page size: 5.75″ x 8.75″
160 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-77415-178-5

Photo of Edem Awumey

Edem Awumey was born in Lomé, Togo. He is the author of four previous novels. Descent into Night, the English translation of Explication de la nuit, won the prestigious Governor-General’s Award for Translation in 2018. The other novels are Port-Melo (2006), which won the Grand prix littéraire d’Afrique noire; Les pieds sales (2009), which was a finalist for the Prix Goncourt in France; and Rose déluge (2011). The English translation of Les pieds sales, Dirty Feet (2011), was selected for the Dublin Impac Award. Edem Awumey lives in Gatineau, Quebec.

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