presenting The Eternal Audience of One: A Novel in conversation with MAAZA MENGISTE
Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series and GrubStreet welcome award-winning writer RÉMY NGAMIJE—cofounder and editor-in-chief of Doek!, Namibia’s first literary magazine—for a discussion of his debut novel, The Eternal Audience of One. He will be joined in conversation by MAAZA MENGISTE, the acclaimed author of The Shadow King.
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About The Eternal Audience of One
Nobody ever makes it to the start of a story, not even the people in it. The most one can do is make some sort of start and then work toward some kind of ending.
One might as well start with Séraphin: playlist-maker, nerd-jock hybrid, self-appointed merchant of cool, Rwandan, stifled and living in Windhoek, Namibia. Soon he will leave the confines of his family life for the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, in South Africa, where loyal friends, hormone-saturated parties, adventurous conquests, and race controversies await. More than that, his long-awaited final year in law school promises to deliver a crucial puzzle piece of the Great Plan immigrant: a degree from a prestigious university.
But a year is more than the sum of its parts, and en route to the future, the present must be lived through and even the past must be survived.
From one of Africa’s emerging literary voices comes a lyrical and piquant tale of family, migration, friendship, war, identity, and race following the intersecting lives of Séraphin and a host of eclectic characters from pre- and post-1994 Rwanda, colonial and post-independence Windhoek, Paris and Brussels in the 70s, Nairobi public schools, and the racially charged streets of Cape Town.
Praise for The Eternal Audience of One
“A novel this compelling shouldn’t be so entertaining. As comically inventive as it is superbly written, Ngamije’s The Eternal Audience of One has a rare narrative propulsion—I have not been so swept up on a novel in years. Out of Namibia, population 2.5 million, comes an international masterwork for the 21st century.” —Peter Orner, author of The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo
“The Eternal Audience of One had me completely in its palm. A delightful, witty and impeccably funny novel that I’ll read over and over again.” —Candice Carty-Williams, internationally bestselling author of Queenie
“A wickedly funny and deeply felt story about a young man’s intense desire to break free from the past, visually striking and beautifully told with youthful energy and hard-won wisdom” —Rabeah Ghaffari, screenwriter, and author of To Keep the Sun Alive