The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana

The latest novel from the grande dame of Caribbean literature

Born in Guadeloupe, Ivan and Ivana are twins with a bond so strong they become afraid of their feelings for one another. When their mother sends them off to live with their father in Mali they begin to grow apart, until, as young adults in Paris, Ivana’s youthful altruism compels her to join the police academy, while Ivan walks the path of radicalization. The twins, unable to live either with or without each other, become perpetrator and victim in a wave of violent attacks. In The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana, her most modern novel to date, Maryse Condé, winner of the New Academy Prize (the ‘Alternative Nobel’) in Literature in 2018, offers an impressive picture of a colorful yet turbulent 21st century.

Categories: ,
Translator

Genre

Pages

272

Paperback ISBN

978-1-64286-069-6

Ebook ISBN

978-1-64286-077-1

Region

, ,

Publication date

May 5, 2020

Price

$16.99

Author

Maryse Condé

Maryse Condé was born in Guadeloupe in 1937 as the youngest of eight siblings. Condé earned her MA and PhD in Comparative Literature at Paris-Sorbonne … Read more

Reviews

Praise for Marysé Conde

“She describes the ravages of colonialism and the post-colonial chaos in a language which is both precise and overwhelming. In her stories the dead live close to the living in a world where gender, race, and class are constantly turned over in new constellations.”
ANN PÅLSSON, Jury, New Academy Prize in Literature

“Condé is a born storyteller.”
Publishers Weekly

“Maryse Condé is a treasure of world literature, writing from the center of the African diaspora with brilliance and a profound understanding of all humanity.”
RUSSELL BANKS

“Maryse Condé is the grande dame of Caribbean literature.”
NCRV Gids

Praise for The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana

“What an astounding novel. Never have I read anything so wild and loving, so tender and ruthless. Condé is one of our greatest writers, a literary sorcerer but here she has outdone even herself, summoned a storm from out of the world’s troubled heart. Ivan and Ivana, in their love, in their Attic fates, mirror our species’ terrible brokenness and it’s improbable grace.”
JUNOT DÍAZ

“The breadth, depth, and power of Maryse Condé’s majestic work is exceptionally remarkable. The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana is a superb addition to this incomparable oeuvre, and is one of Condé’s most timely, virtuoso, and breathtaking novels.”
EDWIDGE DANTICAT

“Brilliantly imagined, Maryse Condé’s new novel presents a dual bildungsroman of twins born into poverty in the African diaspora and follows their global travels to its shocking ending. Once again, Condé transmutes contemporary political traumas into a mesmerizing family fable.”
HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR.

“Maryse Condé offers us with The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana yet another ambitious, continent-crossing whirlwind of a literary journey. The marvelous siblings at the heart of her tale are inspiring and unsettling in equal measure, richly drawn incarnations of the contemporary postcolonial individual in perpetual geographic and cultural movement. It is a remarkable story from start to finish.”
KAIAMA L. GLOVER

“Maryse Condé’s prodigious fictional universes are founded on a radical and generative disregard for boundaries based on geography, religion, history, race, and gender.  In The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana, the most intimate human relationships acquire meaning only on the scale of the world-historical, and as we follow the twins in their fated journey from the Caribbean to Africa and Europe, we learn about love, happiness, calamity, and, at last, the survival of hope.”
ANGELA Y. DAVIS

“With this story of a young man from Guadeloupe who finds himself persuaded by the pull of jihad, Condé has written one of her most impressive novels to date, one that seamlessly resonates with the problems of our time.”
Le Monde

“Condé’s latest novel is a beautiful and dramatic story with its origins in the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Masterly.”
Afrique Magazine

“Maryse Condé addresses very contemporary issues in her latest novel: racism, jihadi terrorism, political corruption and violence, economic inequality in Guadeloupe and metropolitan France, globalization and immigration.”
World Literature Today

“This new novel, written in an almost exuberant style, contains many typical Condé elements, in particular the mix of a small family with global events, and the nuances of existing images.”
De Volkskrant