The Living Days by Ananda Devi
Ananda Devi, a remarkable and unique Mauritian author, has long been an extraordinary voice for those left on the margins of society: minorities, the elderly, the poor. Her powerful writing can be shocking at one moment and then charged with lyricism in the next–sometimes in the same sentence. Her sense of anger at socio-economic oppression is matched only by her keen sense of detail and lyrical writing, which in combination produce a powerful gut punch to a reader’s conscience.
The Living Days is no exception. Discussing the lonely life of a 75-year-old spinster whom a globalized London gradually leaves behind and her remarkable relationship with a 13-year-old Jamaican boy who lives in poverty, it is an extraordinary analysis of how Western capitalist society seemingly has few reservations about leaving its citizens behind for the sake of profit, showing how those pushed aside are left battered, isolated, and with nothing on which to cling.
As the novel traces how these two exiles from globalization find the companionship and love that has been denied them, the heartbreaking nature of their relationship becomes even more devastating as the reality around them closes in. A harrowing but deeply humane work…
The Living Days, a novel by Ananda Devi, translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman, Feminist Press
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