An extract from The Gospel According to the New World by Maryse Condé, translated by Richard Philcox
Read an extract from The Gospel According to the New World, which takes readers on a journey in search of the origins of a miracle baby
Born in Guadeloupe in 1934 as the youngest of eight siblings, Maryse Condé is considered the Grande Dame of Caribbean literature.
Condé taught Francophone Literature at Columbia University in New York, where she lived for many years. She has also lived in various West African countries, most notably in Mali. Here, she gained inspiration for her worldwide bestseller Segu, for which she was awarded the African Literature Prize and several other respected French awards.
She was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2015.
Condé has been awarded the New Academy Prize in Literature as well as the Cino Del Duca World Award for her oeuvre. She also received the Grand Cross National Order of Merit from President Emmanuel Macron in 2020. Condé first conquered the hearts of many readers in English-language territories with her novels The Wondrous and Tragic Life of Ivan and Ivana and Waiting for the Waters to Rise, longlisted for the 2021 National Book Award for Translated Literature in the US.
Between 2005 - 2015, the Man Booker International Prize recognised one writer for their achievement in fiction.
Worth £60,000, the prize was awarded every two years to a living author who had published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.
The winner was chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel and there were no submissions from publishers.
The Man Booker International Prize was different from the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that it highlighted one writer’s overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. In focusing on overall literary excellence, the judges considered a writer’s body of work rather than a single novel.
Maryse Condé is one of the greatest Francophone authors and the great voice of the Caribbean. In this book she proves again what a gifted storyteller she is. The narration is lively and fluid, and we feel carried away by this story as we do by the fables of our childhood.— The International Booker Prize 2023 panel of judges on 'The Gospel According to the New World'