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The Enigma of the Return

Dany Laferrière | Translated by David Homel | February 2013

Windsor Laferrière is an exiled Haitian writer, forced to flee his homeland as a political dissident. He has lived in Montreal for thirty-three years and now suffers from writer’s block.

His father of the same name has just died in New York, where he himself lived as an émigré for the fifty years. Windsor decides to travel to Haiti via New York to attend the funeral and inform his mother of the death.

Leaving behind the freezing winter of Montreal – something he has never got used to – for the wet heat of Haiti, Windsor is faced with the grim truth of life in his homeland – the endemic poverty and starvation, the thwarted ambitions and broken dreams. But only here can he become a writer again…



'A poetic, melancholic tour de force … a compelling, intense, stark and poignant exploration of living life as an outsider … ‘the great Haitian novel.” - New Internationalist magazine

‘Moves fluidly between free verse and prose.’ - The Guardian

‘In an age of great post-colonial migrations, this is a magnificent book.’ - Grégoire Leménager, Nouvel Observateur

‘A richly haunting novel, with prose melting into poetry’ - Quentin Mills-Fenn, Uptown

‘A tour de force of partial autobiography’ - GQ magazine


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