Upcoming Virtual Event

Virtual Event: Rémy Ngamije

presenting

The Eternal Audience of One:
A Novel

in conversation with MAAZA MENGISTE

Date

Aug
12
Thursday
August 12, 2021
5:00 PM ET

Location

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.

Tickets

Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series and GrubStreet welcome award-winning writer RÉMY NGAMIJE—cofounder and editor-in-chief of Doek!, Namibia's first literary magazine—for a discussion of his debut novel, The Eternal Audience of One. He will be joined in conversation by MAAZA MENGISTE, the acclaimed author of The Shadow King.

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About The Eternal Audience of One

Nobody ever makes it to the start of a story, not even the people in it. The most one can do is make some sort of start and then work toward some kind of ending.

One might as well start with Séraphin: playlist-maker, nerd-jock hybrid, self-appointed merchant of cool, Rwandan, stifled and living in Windhoek, Namibia. Soon he will leave the confines of his family life for the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, in South Africa, where loyal friends, hormone-saturated parties, adventurous conquests, and race controversies await. More than that, his long-awaited final year in law school promises to deliver a crucial puzzle piece of the Great Plan immigrant: a degree from a prestigious university.

But a year is more than the sum of its parts, and en route to the future, the present must be lived through and even the past must be survived.

From one of Africa’s emerging literary voices comes a lyrical and piquant tale of family, migration, friendship, war, identity, and race following the intersecting lives of Séraphin and a host of eclectic characters from pre- and post-1994 Rwanda, colonial and post-independence Windhoek, Paris and Brussels in the 70s, Nairobi public schools, and the racially charged streets of Cape Town.

Praise for The Eternal Audience of One

“A novel this compelling shouldn’t be so entertaining. As comically inventive as it is superbly written, Ngamije’s The Eternal Audience of One has a rare narrative propulsion—I have not been so swept up on a novel in years. Out of Namibia, population 2.5 million, comes an international masterwork for the 21st century.” —Peter Orner, author of The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo

The Eternal Audience of One had me completely in its palm. A delightful, witty and impeccably funny novel that I’ll read over and over again.” —Candice Carty-Williams, internationally bestselling author of Queenie

“A wickedly funny and deeply felt story about a young man’s intense desire to break free from the past, visually striking and beautifully told with youthful energy and hard-won wisdom” —Rabeah Ghaffari, screenwriter, and author of To Keep the Sun Alive

Maaza Mengiste
Maaza Mengiste

Maaza Mengiste

Maaza Mengiste was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A Fulbright Scholar and professor in the MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation program at Queens College, she is the author of The Shadow King and Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, named one of the Guardian’s Ten Best Contemporary African Books. Her work can be found in the New Yorker, Granta, and the New York Times, among other publications. She lives in New York City.

Rémy Ngamije
Rémy Ngamije

Rémy Ngamije

Rémy Ngamije is a Rwandan-born Namibian writer and photographer. He is the cofounder and editor-in-chief of Doek! Literary Magazine, Namibia’s first literary magazine. His work has appeared in The Johannesburg Review of Books, Brainwavez, The Amistad, American Chordata, Santa Ana River Review, Columbia Journal, New Contrast, and elsewhere. He was shortlisted for the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing in 2020. He was also longlisted for the 2020 Afritondo Short Story Prize. In 2019, he was shortlisted for Best Original Fiction by Stack Magazines.

Photo Credit: Abantu Book Festival

 

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: New Voices in Fiction

Harvard Book Store's New Voices in Fiction series, presented with GrubStreet, highlights debut fiction writers discussing their work and the writing process.

GrubStreet is one of the nation's leading creative writing centers, offering 500+ classes a year in all genres, for writers of all levels. We believe that narrative transforms lives, builds bridges, and produces empathy. By rigorously developing voices of every type and talent and by removing barriers to entry, GrubStreet fosters the creation of meaningful stories and ensures that excellent writing remains vital and relevant. To learn more or find a class, visit grubstreet.org.

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