Welcome to the Massachusetts Review's Working Titles! Working Titles are e-publications of prose too long for our print pages. Working Titles will be published bimonthly.
Working Titles are made possible with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Five Colleges, Inc., and the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, as well as private donors.
In a world that is at once urban and rural, modern and archaic, rich and poor, African and European, Eloka and Aimée meet across the continents. They choose to share their destinies. Juxtaposing fragments of their daily lives in an African megapolis, Véronique Tadjo’s novella AMOUR: Fields of Battle, Fields of Love alternates between their longings, different perceptions and limitations as their love is repeatedly put to the test when faced with social injustice and political oppression. Carolyn Shread’s English translation of Tadjo’s revised French version of the original 1999 text offers both a piercing and sensitive portrait of a couple negotiating their truths alongside each other.
Véronique Tadjo is a writer, artist and scholar. Born in Paris, she grew up in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, where she completed most of her studies. After earning a doctorate in Black American Literature and Civilization from the Sorbonne, Paris IV, she returned to Abidjan to lecture at the National University. Her work includes poetry collections and novels among which The Shadow of Imana: Travels in the Heart of Rwanda (2000); Queen Pokou: Concerto for a Sacrifice (2005); Far Away from My Father (2014) and En compagnie des hommes (In the company of Men) (2017). She is also an author of books for young people, an illustrator and a painter. Her work has been translated—from the French—into numerous languages. She has lived in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa where she was the Head of French and Francophone Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Her writing has won several literary awards. She now shares her time between London and Abidjan.
Carolyn Shread is lecturer in French at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and also teaches translation at Smith College. She has translated ten books, including five by French philosopher Catherine Malabou. Most of her published articles address two principle areas of research: the implications of Malabou’s concept of plasticity for translation studies and the process of translating Haitian author Marie Vieux-Chauvet’s Les Rapaces from French into English. She has a longstanding interest in feminist translation and recently wrote an entry on “Translating Feminist Philosophers” for the Routledge Handbook of Translation Studies and Philosophy (2019). For the past six years Shread has worked closely with the Haitian based literary journal Legs et littérature and the publishing house LEGS EDITION.