Three Strong Women: A novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A New York Times Notable Book
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2012
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012
Longlisted for The 2014 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award
From Marie NDiaye, the first black woman to win the Prix Goncourt, a harrowing and beautiful novel of the travails of West African immigrants in France.
The story of three women who say no: Norah, a French-born lawyer who finds herself in Senegal, summoned by her estranged father to save another victim of his paternity; Fanta, who leaves a contented life as a teacher in Dakar to follow her boyfriend back to France, where his depression and dislocation poison everything; and Khady, a penniless widow put out by her husband's family with nothing but the name of a distant cousin in France. As these three lives intertwine, each woman manages an astonishing feat of self-preservation against those who have made themselves the fastest-growing and most-reviled people in Europe. In Marie NDiaye's stunning narration we see the progress by which ordinary women discover unimagined reserves of strength.
voucher that Norah had found. Her mother couldn’t have made two dresses out of that one piece of cotton cloth. Norah went back inside and walked along the corridor to the twins’ room, where Masseck had put up Grete and Lucie. She pushed the door open gently and, on sniffing the warm smell of the children’s hair, suddenly felt overwhelmed by the love that had earlier deserted her. But then it faded away, vanished, and once again she felt hard, distracted, remote, as if possessed by something
almost golden. Rudy could hear Manille’s slightly husky voice as he opened and shut a cupboard door, and he was sure that the customers, a drably dressed middle-aged couple with thick legs, were without realizing it succumbing to Manille’s insistent charm as he fixed his dark eyes intently on theirs, as if on the verge of passing on an important piece of personal information or making a flattering comment that he was only holding back for fear of embarrassing them. He never gave the impression,
the phone shut and slipped it into her pocket. The two little girls pretended to be asleep. Their eyelids flickered and their lips were pressed together. Disappointed, Norah stroked their cheeks, then got up and nodded to Khady before leaving the room with her father, who closed the door carefully behind him. She thought, plaintively, of what seemed yet another failure on this man’s part to establish a straightforward loving relationship with his children. A man who provoked such a pitiless
houses that all looked alike, built on bare rectangular plots now artlessly graced with tufts of pampas grass and a few replanted Christmas trees! He’d had the impression that in moving there Mummy was not only submitting to, but also ratifying, even anticipating in a smug, rather nasty way, the judgment of absolute failure that, at the end of her life, a supreme authority would be handing down. Rudy had been burning to ask her: Was it really necessary to advertise her ruination in that manner?
arrival and that their visit would in no way disturb, being negligible, superfluous alongside this mysterious source of exultation. He felt jealous about that, both for himself and for Djibril. He placed his two hands heavily on his son’s shoulders. “I thought you’d like to keep him for the night.” “Ah!” Nodding gently, Mummy folded her arms, and her searching gaze played on the child’s features again as if trying to estimate his worth. “You could have warned me, but all right, it’ll be