Tatamkhulu Afrika’s haunting, semi-autobiographical World War II novel is published in paperback today in the States, by Picador USA.
BITTER EDEN is based on Tatamkhulu Afrika’s own capture in North Africa and his experiences as a prisoner-of-war in World War II in Italy and Germany. This frank and beautifully written novel deals with three men who must negotiate the emotions that are brought to the surface by the physical closeness of survival in the male-only camps.
Named in NPR’s Best Books of 2014, Saeen Jones writes that ‘Afrika's autobiographical novel based on his experiences as a prisoner of war during World War II is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking.’
BITTER EDEN has been selected in the 2015 Stonewall Book Awards as an Honor Book of Literature.
Presses de la Cite recently pre-empted for French rights for the novel, which they will publish for the Rentrée Litteraire in Autumn 2015.
Praise for BITTER EDEN:
‘Afrika ‘shows with an insider’s empathy how, in the myriad battles of our recent past, an even greater number of private wars were lost or won.’ – Argus.
‘BITTER EDEN’s love is neither kind nor tame nor ever adorned. The word love is never mentioned, because love—if this is really the name for it—is so spare and brutal and bare-knuckled that the characters themselves aren’t even aware of it. But this book will haunt you, and stay with you, and won’t ever let go, just like the memory of a love that never happened but should have happened continues to exact its toll of misfired hopes and regrets. But the language is not spare and the poetry here, like shards of a broken bottle, is simply everywhere.’ – André Aciman, Call Me By Your Name
'Bitter Eden is earthy and lyrical, caustic and moving.' – Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap