Concrete Flowers

9780253035592: Paperback
Release Date: 1st August 2018

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 112

Series Global African Voices

Indiana University Press

Concrete Flowers

Written by
Wilfried N'Sondé
Translated by
Karen Lindo

N’Sondé's powerful voice resonates loudly in Concrete Flowers. This novel tells the story of Rosa Maria, who feels lost in the brutal and racially charged city of Paris. Rosa's coming-of-age journey reveals an individual's expansive capacity to dream of a better life.

Paperback / £13.99

Behind the bars on her window, Rosa Maria dreams of sunshine, love, calm, and leaving the city where she lives with her family. She suffers her father’s beatings, hides her femininity behind shapeless clothing, and pines for the beautiful Jason as she awaits her opportunity to flee. Meanwhile, her older brother is found dead in a nearby parking lot, and the neighborhood explodes in a riot against the police. Rosa Maria resolves to act before she is devoured by family intrigues and despair. Wilfried N'Sondé's powerful voice creates a palpable sense of the absence of hope and the social and racial isolation that pervade the Paris projects, even as he never abandons the expansive capacity of individuals to dream of better lives beyond a seemingly hopeless reality.

Wilfried N'Sondé was born in 1969 in the Congo (Brazzaville) and grew up in France. He is widely considered one of the shining lights of the new generation of African and Afropean writers. His work has received considerable critical attention and been recognized with prestigious literary awards, including the Prix de Cinq Continents de la Francophonie and the Prix Senghor de la création littéraire.

Karen Lindo is a scholar of French and Francophone literatures and currently teaches and translates in Paris.

Wilfried N’Sondé wields a precise and poetic pen.


Radio France Internationale

Wilfried N’Sondé is a musician. One can hear this. His writing captures the rhythm of a brutal reality of a society on the brink of collective disintegration while simultaneously providing a space for daydreaming.