Stella Gaitano’s Edo’s Souls, forthcoming from Dedalus Books next year, will feature cover art by Khartoum-based Sudanese visual artist Yasmeen Abdullah.
Gaitano’s novel is a stunning South Sudanese fokloro-historical fiction that explores motherhood and belonging. Its publication is supported by English PEN grant.
Ahead of the novel’s publication, you can read an excerpt from the novel on ArabLit. The excerpt begins:
Like any other living creature, Mama Lucy didn’t know a thing about what fate had in store for her. She’d neither planned for nor thought about this maternal generosity of hers that had struck her like a curse. All there was to it was this: her mother had given birth only to her, or rather, she was the sole survivor of her ten siblings who had all died before their first birthday. Her mother had lived with the pain of loss for many years, and it was renewed as each year passed, when the child would sprout like an unwanted weed only for death to come and kidnap each one while slumbering, without their health being visibly affected or their freshness fading away. They looked blissfully asleep when she buried them, their graves warm for days, their cries ringing in her ears. Their bodies had been warm, their limbs supple, but their hearts had stopped beating altogether.
“The Rally of the Sixth of April,” by Stella Gaitano, translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Salah Mohamed El Hassan Osman, and Abed Haddad
Yasmeen Abdullah’s Instagram, where you can find her art and commission new work.
‘Eddo’s Souls’: A Novel of Motherhood and Fragmentation in Sudan and South Sudan – Review by Lemya Shaman