LADIVINE, Marie NDiaye

Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2016

Clarisse Rivière's life is shaped by a refusal to admit to her husband Richard and to her daughter Ladivine that her mother is a poor black housekeeper. Instead, weighed down by guilt, she pretends to be an orphan, visiting her mother in secret and telling no-one of her real identity as Malinka, daughter of Ladivine Sylla.

In time, her lies turn against her. Richard leaves Clarisse, frustrated by the unbridgeable, indecipherable gulf between them. Clarisse is devastated, but finds solace in a new man, Freddy Moliger, who is let into the secret about her mother, and is even introduced to her.

But Ladivine, her daughter, who is now married herself, cannot shake a bad feeling about her mother's new lover, convinced that he can bring only chaos and pain into her life. When she is proved right, in the most tragic circumstances, the only comfort the family can turn to requires a leap of faith beyond any they could have imagined.

Centred around three generations of women, whose seemingly cursed lineage is defined by the weight of origins, the pain of alienation and the legacy of shame, Ladivine is a beguiling story of secrets, lies, guilt and forgiveness by one of Europe's most unique literary voices.

Translated from the French by Jordan Stump

Paperback - B-format - 336p - £8.99 - 06/04/2017 - 9781848666047


"A work of immense power and mystery . . . a wild ghost story, rooted in immigration and exile. Perfect, both ­poignant and strangely hopeful" PATRICK MCGRATHMAY, New York Times

"A haunting, melancholy and immaculately translated novel, a thing of beauty for ugly times" ALEX PRESTON, The Observer

"A brave, unusual book" CATHERINE HUMBLE, Times Literary Supplement

"A haunting, powerful new voice in French literature, providing an intriguing, beguiling experience for English readers" MIKA PROVATA-CARLONE, Bookanista

"NDiaye's manner of writing has often been compared to Proust . . . Here she has created a world of mystery, dreams, and sensuality in a very controlled style" ADELE KING, World Literature Today

"This strangely hypnotic novel exudes anguish and loneliness. Marie NDiaye, writes profoundly disturbing novels in such riveting prose that one cannot look away" Library Journal




Elise Williams