The Last Brother A Novel


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Graywolf Press


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1555975755

9781555975753

208 Pages

$14.00

CAD16.00

Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy
"Appanah uses language as rich and beautiful as the jungles of her native Mauritius to tell a small but powerful story of youthful innocence and hope glimmering amid the incomprehensible grief, loss, and violence of World War II. The events of Raj’s youth, told as a reflection from later in his life, unfold with the dreamy quality of distant memories until they are punctuated by vivid descriptions, such as finding the walking stick of his perished brother, that splinter the imagination. This unforgettable and heartbreaking story combines enough risky misadventure and mystery to appeal to teens, who will also appreciate its easy fablelike narrative. It is a worthy addition to any collection of World War II literature."—John Sexton, School Library Journal

REVIEWS

Praise for The Last Brother

"Reading Nathacha Appanah's novel The Last Brother, I was sometimes reminded of Czeslaw Milosz’s poem 'Dedication' . . .  Milosz wrote extensively of postwar guilt, of bearing witness, of being left standing amid ruins, surrounded by the graves of people unsaved and unclaimed. So too does Appanah, a French-Mauritian writer of Indian origin, in this beautiful, concise novel, published in France in 2007 and now translated into English by ­Geoffrey Strachan . . . The Last Brother is Appanah’s fourth novel, the second to be published in English. Strachan’s translation is faithful and limpid, preserving in large part the rhythm of the French. For American readers, whose familiarity with the literature of Mauritius is unlikely to stretch beyond the work of the 2008 Nobel Prize winner J. M. G. Le Clézio, Appanah's is a beautiful new voice, one that, like David’s, makes 'a kind of music.' If the song it sings is sad, well, it’s all the more lifelike for that."—Dalia Sofer, The New York Times Book Review
 
"This deeply affecting work, first published in French in 2007, is the fourth novel by Nathacha Appanah, a journalist who grew up in Mauritius . . . The Last Brother is a beautiful, frustrating book. You want revenge. You want the violence and cruelty to stop its viral march through generations. You taste the bitterness of poverty. But most of all, you mourn the loss of childhood."—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
 
"Appanah uses language as rich and beautiful as the jungles of her native Mauritius to tell a small but powerful story of youthful innocence and hope glimmering amid the incomprehensible grief, loss, and violence of World War II. The events of Raj’s youth, told as a reflection from later in his life, unfold with the dreamy quality of distant memories until they are punctuated by vivid descriptions, such as finding the walking stick of his perished brother, that splinter the imagination. This unforgettable and heartbreaking story combines enough risky misadventure and mystery to appeal to teens, who will also appreciate its easy fablelike narrative. It is a worthy addition to any collection of World War II literature."—John Sexton, School Library Journal
 
"Nathacha Appanah's sad, beautiful novel The Last Brother explores loss in the lives of two boys . . .
Their story is told simply, heart-wrenchingly, in the voice of 70-year-old Raj looking back at this brief, profound friendship."—The Plain Dealer (Celveland)

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

NATHACHA APPANAH, a French-Mauritian of Indian origin, was born in Mauritius and worked there as a journalist before moving to France in 1998. The Last Brother, her fourth novel, won the Prix de la FNAC 2007 and the Grand Prix des Lecteurs de L'Express 2008.  GEOFFREY STRACHAN is the award-winning translator of Andreï Makine.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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  • Nathacha Appanah, a French-Mauritian of Indian origin, was born in Mauritius and worked there as a journalist before moving to France in 1998. The Last Brother, her fourth novel, won the Prix de la FNAC 2007 and the Grand Prix des Lecteurs de L'Express 2008.
     
    GEOFFREY STRACHAN is the award-winning translator of Andreï Makine.
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