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Nathacha Appanah

Nathacha Appanah

Nathacha Appanah is a Mauritian-French author of several novels. At present, four of these have been translated into English from the original French: Waiting for Tomorrow, The Last Brother, and Tropic of Violence (forthcoming) were translated by Geoffrey …

1962

I attach no importance to names.
I learned to write my last name by copying
the tag my mother sewed into my coat
so I wouldn’t lose it. Such a long name.
So many letters. I have a name now—…

Gdansk

This is not your first time in St. Stanislaus’s Cathedral.

The January evening after shoplifting the pregnancy test for Miriam, you were grateful to duck in the side door under the frieze when the policja unexpectedly gave chase. Months later, the …

Tempest

the clouds that strafed us
drove us apart forever
not even our smartphones worked
in that absolute nightmare
I was cast away
to wait with a nursery
of flight attendants
one of whom tearfully
reassured me
that we would all…

Fly

Translated by Adil Babikir

The force commissioned to deal with the matter is made of sixty-six soldiers, and an army of skilled and semi-skilled carpenters who were assembled by force from Nyala, Kaas, and Zalingei. It is more than enough …

Naomi

in the beginning
the chickens have no cause to fear us
we are all of us far too young to worry

my sister works well
at the daily chore of keeping everyone alive

while I run circles around the ankles …

Susu

Translation by the author
(
Rukiga original follows the English, below)

You are coming from your friend’s. It is Sunday. The date is the 9th of August. You have spoken about the far and near, you have indeed nattered. Y’know …

Appellation

Once, while making love,
I forgot your name.

The capped wave,
of what may have only been

a tangled bed sheet,
washing you farther and       farther out.

As if the process of losing you
was already in motion.

Your …

The Moms

Now my back makes these little popping noises when I pour a glass of juice. I fantasize about torture devices from the Spanish Inquisition. I want one that pulls from both ends. I might be hunching. I know I’m getting …