By Night the Mountain Burns

by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel

A narrator revisits childhood memories of life on Annobon, an island off the West African coast. He provides a chronicle of the island; stories that tell of joy and tragedy make vivid the changing way of life on Annobon. It is a fascinating story of an island in a part of the world rarely touched by English language fiction. With no chapters and few page breaks throughout this is a book to make time for and become absorbed by.


So news reached us that we had to give food to the king of the sea, who ruled over the waves, the fish, the whole island in fact, for our island was out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Was the king of the sea King Atlas? If only! What a discovery that would be! But anyway, we had to give food to the king of the sea, and during the offering ceremony there should be no one at sea, not a single canoe. And so it was announced that there'd be an offering the next day. A man went through the streets announcing what was going to take place and that everyone should assemble in the big village to witness the event.
Translated by Jethro Soutar


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