BEYOND THE DOOR OF NO RETURN – David Diop – Unlock Freedom

A captivating story.

By David Diop ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 19, 2023

Michel Adanson, a French botanist, travelled to Senegal to document new species of flora and fauna for his magnum opus, “Universal Orb”. After his death in 1806, his daughter Aglaé discovers his hidden notebooks, which detail his experiences on and around the island of Gorée. Adanson is captivated by the story of Maram Seck, known as “the revenant”, who is said to have miraculously escaped slavery and vanished on Senegal’s Cap-Vert. He and his guide brave the elements to find her, and discover that her uncle Baba Seck sold her to a white man for a musket when she was 16, after she fought him off during an attempted rape.

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Adanson is entranced by her beauty, strength and use of the Wolof language, and falls in love with her. However, he is aware that he is not worthy of her love, and so reveals his flaws. This book, which takes its title from the name of the place where millions of Africans were shipped to the Americas, is a powerful and masterful piece of storytelling. The narratives, including Aglaé’s, are told with a beautiful blend of truth and invention, and the emotional impact of the story is immense.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2023
ISBN: 9780374606770

Page Count: 256
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023