Waiting for the Waters to Rise

A mesmerizing novel from the winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize in Literature

Babakar is a doctor living alone, with only the memories of his childhood in Mali. In his dreams, he receives visits from his blue-eyed mother and his ex-lover Azelia, both now gone, as are the hopes and aspirations he’s carried with him since his arrival in Guadeloupe. Until, one day, the child Anaïs comes into his life, forcing him to abandon his solitude. Anaïs’s Haitian mother died in childbirth, leaving her daughter destitute—now Babakar is all she has, and he wants to offer this little girl a future. Together they fly to Haiti, a beautiful, mysterious island plagued by violence, government corruption, and rebellion. Once there, Babakar and his two friends, the Haitian Movar and the Palestinian Fouad, three different identities looking for a more compassionate world, begin a desperate search for Anaïs’s family.


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Publication date

August, 2021




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

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A Tribute to Maryse Condé


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.”

Maryse Condé is the grande dame of Caribbean literature.”


Praise for Waiting for the Waters to Rise:

“Maryse Condé has lost nothing of her inimitable style, nor of her talent for painting strong and true characters.”
Le Monde

“Maryse Condé has that remarkable talent of illuminating characters who are immersed in shadows.”
Brune Magazine

“As always, Condé here delivers a sublime novel, mesmerizing, traversed by the destiny of three characters between Africa, the Antilles, and Haiti.”
Miss Ebène

A poignant and discreet story, with endearing characters.”

“A map of anguishes and hopes, written in a sensual and melodic language.”
Croire Aujoud’hui

“An enthralling novel, traversed by the destinies of three people, three men linked by an unbeatable friendship, who struggle to break free of  their past.”
La Gazette

“A dense book, a novel with complex layers, a beautiful lesson of humanity in a hostile world.”

“A novel with multiple twists, but always clear, at the end of which the author leaves us knocked out.”
Femme Actuelle

“The author Maryse Condé reveals, once again, her talent as a storyteller à la Selma Lagerlof. She knows how to give body and soul to those caught in the whirlwinds of a merciless history that often surpasses and sometimes destroys them.”

“A translucent novel about the need to make one’s destiny intelligible, even while being stateless, an immigrant, exiled, rejected.”
Gens de la Caraïbe

“A text of great poetry, and a deep exoticism in which we find traces of Jacques Roumain or Jacques Stéphen Alexis.”
Sens Critique