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In the Company of Men

Best Seller
In the Company of Men by Véronique Tadjo
Paperback $14.99
Feb 23, 2021 | ISBN 9781635420951

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  • Feb 23, 2021 | ISBN 9781635420951

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  • Feb 23, 2021 | ISBN 9781635420968

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Praise

In the Company of Men is full of scenes that feel eerily familiar—health care workers maxed out and running low on supplies, tending to patients who might not get better; family members who can’t hug, kiss, or care for each other, afraid of spreading a contagious virus…it captures so effectively how the gestures of affection and consolation and connection become the vectors of disease.” —NPR, All Things Considered

“A fable of the Ebola outbreak, complete with a healer’s potions, university closings, and an ancient baobab tree.” —New York Times  
 
“Resonant, unflinching…As personal and humane as it is biblically grand…a timely testament to the destructive powers of pandemics.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“From multiple perspectives, Tadjo examines the effects of pandemics like the Ebola crisis and the toll they take on our health, our communities, and our humanity. Particularly relevant to our times.” —Ms. Magazine
 
“[In the Company of Men’s] lingering significance highlights the human(e) reactions in the face of impossible, fatal situations…Tadjo’s stark novel exposing the Ebola crisis in West Africa resonates amidst the worldwide pandemic.” —Shelf Awareness
 
“Resonant…The novel’s structure highlights strong emotions, while clearly communicating the facts of the disease and the outbreak.” —Booklist
 
“[Tadjo] intertwines facts, well-known songs, legends, poems, fictionalized testimonials, and documentary prose in the stirring orality of this novel to give voice to the humanitarian disaster and to interrogate Ebola’s historical and biospheric currency…Realistic, painterly, and poetic, the impeccably structured polyvocal novel registers the urgency, despair, commitment, dedication, and solidarity that Ebola provokes and leaves one at times shivering.” —World Literature Today

“Véronique Tadjo’s In the Company of Men is more than a story about Ebola. This novel, elegiac and sorrowful, is also an affirmation of the cycle of life and nature’s important place in it. What do the living owe to the dead? What do they owe to the earth, which both protects and punishes? Tadjo offers us her powerful, luminous answers in this book.” —Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King, short-listed for the 2020 Booker Prize

“I kept talking to my Kenyan father, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, about In the Company of Men as I read it because it resonates so deeply with our own familial history. His father left a pandemic in his village in the late 1800s and was cautioned never to talk about it, so we have no history beyond my great-grandfather. Tadjo, writing so urgently and beautifully about Ebola two centuries later at a time of Covid-19, is our witness.” —Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ, Professor of English at Cornell University and author of Nairobi Heat and Black Star Nairobi

“Tender and compassionate, this vivid, often heart-wrenching account of the courage of Ebola frontline workers caring for those ravaged by the disease is an important reminder of the human and emotional cost of one of the worst epidemics of our age.” —Elnathan John, author of Born on a Tuesday

“Véronique Tadjo’s timely novel, In the Company of Men, is at once a spellbinding narrative about the roots and ravages of an Ebola outbreak and a reminder that deadly new diseases spreading from humankind’s encroachments on the natural world recognize no borders, political parties, or faiths. We are all in this together under ‘the first tree, the everlasting tree, the totem tree,’ which in this telling is the Baobab. But it could easily be another tree in another land. This is essential reading.” —Christopher Merrill, author of Self-Portrait with Dogwood

“It is chilling to read Véronique Tadjo’s In the Company of Men when the world trapped by Covid-19 wonders why the numbers on the African continent are still not skyrocketing. The book reminds us that pandemics are world phenomena, and in doing so hits its most lyrical tone. Tadjo lets the virus speak, speak to us, and answer in the face of disaster and community, in the court of the people, animals, and trees. A necessary book today.” —Patrice Nganang, author of Mount Pleasant and When the Plums Are Ripe

“This is an extraordinary novel for our times. Véronique Tadjo weaves a story that turns the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa into a parable of what happens when the chain that connects human beings to nature is broken. Lyrical and wrenching at the same time, In the Company of Men gives voice to the natural world and mourns the loss of the well-being that existed before the destruction of the environment and the arrival of postmodern pandemics.” —Simon Gikandi, Robert Schirmer Professor of English, Princeton University

“In an era of accelerating translational contagions, the uncannily global resonances of Véronique Tadjo’s novel grow in amplitude. This is a remarkable fiction that becomes ever more topical and probing with the passing of time.” —Russell West-Pavlov, University of Tübingen, Germany

“[A] powerful, poetic ode to life in a country of ancient customs, ravaged by death…A magnificent and essential text.” —Le Figaro Madame

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