“I am a woman acting of her own will and desire. Do not attempt to contact me after this communication. In all likelihood, I am no longer here.
These lines mark the beginning of the note my colleague Dr Joseph Hessler presented me with three years ago, along with the other materials I was tasked to compile into a dossier meant to inform a State Defense Report. I didn’t. Instead, they became the following manuscript, which, with the now late Dr Hessler’s assistance, I have prepared for the public as TRIANGULUM.
At the time of writing, the sender of these materials remains unknown. We have at our disposal the note, as well as a cover letter, detailing further instructions. Then the materials themselves: a written record in the form of a memoir, followed by what appears to be a work of autofiction, as well as a set of digital recordings.”
When the South African National Space Agency receives a mysterious box from an equally mysterious woman saying that the end of the world is near, the story of the post-apartheid period unfolds under the form of a manuscript named TRIANGULUM.
The narrative takes us from the 1990s to 2040 into the memories of a mysterious narrator who recalls her teenage days, her friends and the haunting memory of her dead mother. It is the disappearance of three girls from their town that finally decides the narrator to go further in her search for clues of her mother’s abduction and death. Her journey leads her from her hometown to a laboratory and finally into a forest in which she hopes to find out what really happened to her mother.
Situated between science-fiction to philosophical fable and historical criticism, Masande Ntshanga’s multi-genre novel deals with a large number of topics of today’s world, from racism to ecologic urgency, and also opens a window onto a future that may not be as incredible as it first appears.
In this modern coming-of-age tale, Masande Nsthanga, awarded the PEN International New Voices Award in 2013, takes us on dystopic journey into the most suprising places, and also on a journey into the human soul haunted by the past, revolted by injustice and hungry for freedom.
Triangulum by Masande Ntshanga
978-1937512774 / Two Dollar Radio (to be released in May 2019)
Review by Ioana Danaila
Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She graduated from University Lyon 2 Lumière with a Masters in African Postcolonial Literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She is the author of a collection of short stories and a translator of books from French to Romanian. She is trilingual in Romanian, French and English, and teaches English language and literature to highschool students in France.