Mount Pleasant: A Novel
In Cameroon in 1931, Sara is taken from her family and brought to Mount Pleasant as a gift for Sultan Njoya, the Bamum leader cast into exile by French colonialists, when she is just nine years old. Sara's story takes an unexpected turn when she is recognised by Bertha, the slave in charge of training Njoya's brides, as Nebu, the son she lost tragically years before. In her new life as a boy, she bears witness to the world of Sultan Njoya - a magical yet declining place of artistic and intellectual minds. Seven decades later, a student returns home to Cameroon to research the place it once was, and she finds Sara, silent for decades, ready to tell her story. In her serpentine tale, a lost kingdom lives again in the compromised intersection between flawed memory, tangled fiction, and faintly discernible truth. The award-winning novelist Patrice Nganang's lyrical and majestic Mount Pleasant is a resurrection of the world of early-twentieth-century Cameroon and an elegy for the men and women swept up in the forces of colonisation. For readers of Maaza Mengiste and Taiye Selasi.
The English-language debut of an award-winning novelist, and a lyrical tale of transformation in colonial Africa.
"Patrice Nganang's dazzling novel [stands] in a league of its own, so different from the great majority of novels by African writers in the past fifty or sixty years."--Charles L. Larson, Counterpunch"Cameroonian writer Nganang delivers a modern epic, tinged with liberal doses of magical realism, of life in his country's colonial era . . . An elegantly drawn and engaging world of a sort unknown to most readers--but one they'll be glad to have visited." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Patrice Nganang was born in Cameroon and is a novelist, a poet, and an essayist. His novel "Temps de chien" received the Prix Litteraire Marguerite Yourcenar and the Grand prix litteraire d'Afrique noire. He is also the author of "La Joie de vivre "and "L'Invention d'un beau regard." He teaches comparative literature at Stony Brook University."