"Dalembert is a world class poet and chronicler not only of the African diaspora but the radical uprootedness of people everywhere. His work is the work of witness, infused with the love and admiration for the millions of sufferers who endure the violent disruptions or our time with dignity and perseverance, and a love for one another that is equal to his own."—RUSSELL BANKS, author of The Sweet Hereafter and Foregone.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 4 members
The time is certainly ripe for exploring the stories and fates of the world’s refugees. Joining other novelists such as Mohsin Hamid, Jeanine Cummins, and Christy Lefteri, Louis-Philippe Dalembert (author) and Marjolijn de Jager (translator) follow the forced migration through horrific dangers that refugees must endure to attempt to live a safe and humane life. Despite its titular setting, The Mediterranean Wall opens with images reminiscent of stories of refugees to the southern border of the United States. Clearly the widespread issue has reached the concern of writers and humanitarian aid groups; now, the challenge is in the hands of politicians and economic influencers. One can only hope that continued attention will add the pressure necessary to induce action on their part. While the point of the book is important and clear, it is really a mediocre read. The syntax feels somewhat belabored, a strange mix of overly formal and very casual/cliche phrasing. Without the benefit of multilingualism, it is impossible to pinpoint this to the original text or the translation. The plot moves quickly enough without sacrificing important details, and the characters are at times well fleshed out and engaging. Thank you to Louis-Philippe Dalembert, Marjolijn de Jager, Schaffer Press, and NetGalley for an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.