The eternal audience of one

by Ngamije, Rémy,

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: Available at 9 Libraries 9 of 12 copies
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Summary
" The Eternal Audience of One is laugh-out-loud funny with writing that is sometimes so beautiful that it dances off the page--to a millennial beat--in perfect tempo with its tales of migration, love, loss, and friendship. " --Sarah Ladipo Manyika, author of In Dependence

Reminiscent of Zadie Smith and Michael Chabon, this " gorgeous, wildly funny, and, above all, profoundly moving and humane" ( Peter Orner, author of Am I Alone Her e ) coming -of-age tale follows a young man who is forced to flee his homeland of Rwanda during the Civil War and make sense of his reality.

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.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Séraphin Turihamwe is bright and funny, but he's wracked by ennui. He hates Windhoek, the Namibian city his Rwandan refugee parents now call home. He's close to finishing law school in Cape Town, South Africa, but his heart is not in the vocation, and he struggles under the weight of his parents' lofty expectations. While settling in Cape Town might be tempting, deep-seated racism does not leave much room for people like Séraphin. Worse, he's not sure where he stands with the many young women he's been dating. Ngamije's debut maps Séraphin's restlessness as he tries to find a life purpose, touching on many weighty issues--the plight of Rwandan refugees, defying parental authority, racism in post-apartheid South Africa--but does so only glancingly. Like so many searching young men, Séraphin is a world citizen, reciting pop lyrics and dreaming of an existence beyond his confined boundaries. Ngamije's tale meanders inconclusively from one idea to the next, just as its protagonist remains directionless, thus missing a substantive hook even as it stands as an engaging and very promising bildungsroman."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "A law student contends with his family and future prospects in this funny and incisive debut from Namibian writer Ngamije. In the weeks before 24-year-old Séraphin's final year of law school in Cape Town, he visits his parents in Windhoek, Namibia, where they landed after fleeing Rwanda when Séraphin was nine, and where "the best thing to do... is arrive and leave." Therése, his commanding, French-educated mother, still struggles with their reduced status as immigrants, while his father, Guillome, devotes himself to a low-paying job at a government agency. Back in South Africa, Séraphin hangs out with fellow students, squeaks by at school, and cycles through brief relationships with women while nursing his wounds from past relationships. After Andrew, the only white person in his group of friends, brings around his family friend Silmary, she and Séraphin begin sleeping together, leading to a dramatic fight with Andrew. Flashbacks and ruminations from Séraphin and his parents lead to a revelatory conclusion that impacts all of them, and create a vivid catalog of sorrows, embarrassments, and barely concealed hostilities, which Ngamije conveys through Séraphin's sly commentary (his "weather report" for Cape Town: "Mild racism with scattered xenophobic showers. Watch out for house parties, folks!"). Fans of Brandon Taylor's work will love this. Agent: Cecile Barendsma, Cecile B Literary. (Aug.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Young men -- South Africa -- Cape Town -- Fiction.
Law students -- Fiction.
Refugees -- Fiction.
Cape Town (South Africa) -- Fiction.
Bildungsromans.
Humorous fiction.
Publisher New York :Scout Press,2021
Edition First Scout Press hardcover edition.
Other Titles Eternal audience of 1
Language English
Description 376 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9781982164423
1982164425
9781982164430
1982164433
Other Classic View