A Trail of Crab Tracks
Author: Patrice Nganang; Translated from the French by Amy B. Reid
The award-winning author Patrice Nganang chronicles the fight for Cameroonian independence through the story of a father’s love for his family and his land and of the long-silenced secrets of his former life.
For the first time, Nithap flies across the world to visit his son, Tanou, in the United States. After countless staticky phone calls and transatlantic silences, he has agreed to leave Bangwa: the city in western Cameroon where he has always lived, where he became a doctor and, despite himself, a rebel, where he fell in love, and where his children were born. When illness extends his stay, his son finds an opportunity to unravel the history of the mysterious man who raised him, following the trail of crab tracks to discover the truth of his father and his country.
At last, Nithap’s throat clears and his voice rises, and he drifts back in time to tell his son the story that is burned into his memory and into the land he left behind. He speaks about the civil war that tore Cameroon apart, about the great men who lived and died, about his soldiers, his martyrs, and his great loves. As the tale unfolds, Tanou listens to his father tell the history of his family and the prayer of the blood-soaked land.
From New Jersey to Bamileke country, voices mingle, the borders of time dissolve, and generations merge. In A Trail of Crab Tracks, the third part of a magisterial trilogy by Patrice Nganang, the award-winning author creates an epic of war, inheritance, and desire, and of the relentless, essential struggle for freedom.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux