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Tropic of Violence

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780857057730

Price: £12.99

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Marie, a nurse on the island of Mayotte, adopts an abandoned baby and names him Moïse, raising him as a French boy. As he grows up, Moïse struggles with his status as an “outsider” and to understand why he was abandoned as a baby. When Marie dies, he is left alone, plunged into uncertainty and turmoil, ending up in the largest and most infamous slum on Mayotte, nicknamed “Gaza”.

Narrated by five different characters, Tropic of Violence is an exploration of lost youth on the French island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean. Shining a powerful light on problems of violence, immigration, identity, deprivation and isolation on this island that became a French département in 2011, it is a remarkable, unsettling new novel that draws on the author’s own observations from her time on Mayotte.


A masterpiece
François Busnel, La Grande Librairie
In the magnificent Tropic of Violence, Nathacha Appanah gives us a terrifying portrait of Mayotte
Julien Bisson, Lire
This hard, harsh story will wring out your heart with its otherworldly poetry
Xavier Houssin, Elle
The strength and the elegance of this novel will take your breath away
Marianne Payot, L'Express
A brief, beautiful, brutal portrait of this tiny island in the Indian Ocean
Gladys Marivat, Le Monde
The hell of Mayotte finds its redemption in the novel's restrained, imaginative use of language
Claire Devarrieux, Libération
Brilliantly vivid
Beautiful and brutal
New Yorker
Searing, lyrical, and ultimately devastating, Tropic of Violence might be Appanah's finest yet
Kirkus Reviews