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  • MacLehose Press

The Sky Above the Roof

Nathacha Appanah

7 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A beautifully observed portrait of a fractured family and a poetic exploration of the ways we break apart and rebuild.

It all begins with a crash.

One night, seventeen-year-old Wolf steals his mother's car and drives six hundred kilometres in search of his sister, who left home ten years ago. Unlicensed and on edge, he veers onto the wrong side of the road and causes an accident. He is arrested, imprisoned, and leaves his mother and sister to pick up the pieces.

What follows is an unflinching account of the events that lead to this moment, told through the alternating perspectives of Wolf's mother, sister and various other voices. In this raw and poignant novel, Nathacha Appanah reveals how trauma shapes generations and the wounds it leaves behind. The Sky Above the Roof is both a portrait of a fractured family and a poetic exploration of the ways we break apart and rebuild

Translated from the French by Geoffrey Strachan

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Praise for The Sky Above the Roof

  • With this magnificent text Nathacha Appanah has never been so close to the poetry that she carries in her work. Great, great literature. - Le Figaro Litteraire

  • The author of The Tropic of Violence creates an unexpected opening in the gray sky of everyday life. It unveils a world in which the most vulnerable or the strongest among us can climb, sheltered from the blows of life: poetry. Breathtaking. - Elle

  • It's beautiful, extraordinarily delicate - La Grande Librairie

  • Shrouded in darkness and rare poetry, Nathacha Appanah's new novel is a haunting song that leaves a lasting mark. - Les Echos Weekend

  • There is tale in this novel, a sweetness about pain and perpetual marginality, from which emanates a dreamlike atmosphere. - Le Point

  • Nathacha Appanah's intimate and luminous writing questions the inevitability of the transmission of trauma from one generation to another. - La Croix

  • Nathacha Appanah does not judge; she looks, writes, describes, heals wounds, gently blows on scars. It is very sweet. Very painful. Very loving, too. - L'Express

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Nathacha Appanah

Nathacha Appanah, was born in Mauritius in 1973. She was brought up there and worked as a journalist before moving to France in 1998. The Last Brother, her first novel to be translated into English, was awarded the FNAC Fiction Prize in 2007 in its French edition. Her novel Tropic of Violence was winner of the Prix Femina des Lyceens in 2016, as well as seven other French literary awards.

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