Mount Pleasant: Book summary and reviews of Mount Pleasant by Patrice Nganang

Mount Pleasant

by Patrice Nganang

Mount Pleasant by Patrice Nganang X
Mount Pleasant by Patrice Nganang
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  • Published Apr 2016
    384 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

The award-winning novelist Patrice Nganang's lyrical and majestic Mount Pleasant is a resurrection of the world of early-twentieth-century Cameroon and an elegy for the men and women swept up in the forces of colonization.

In Cameroon in 1931, Sara is taken from her family and brought to Mount Pleasant as a gift for Sultan Njoya, the Bamum leader cast into exile by French colonialists. Just nine years old and on the verge of becoming one of the sultan's hundreds of wives, Sara's story takes an unexpected turn when she is recognized by Bertha, the slave in charge of training Njoya's brides, as Nebu, the son she lost tragically years before. In Sara's new life as a boy she bears witness to the world of Sultan Njoya - a magical yet declining place of artistic and intellectual minds - and hears the story of the sultan's last days in the Palace of All Dreams and of the sad fate of Nebu, the greatest artist their culture had seen.

Seven decades later, a student returns home to Cameroon to research the place it once was, and she finds Sara, silent for decades, ready to tell her story. In her serpentine tale, a lost kingdom lives again in the compromised intersection between flawed memory, tangled fiction, and faintly discernible truth. In this telling, history is invented anew and transformed - a man awakens from a coma to find the animal kingdom dancing a waltz; a spirit haunts a cocoa plantation; and a sculptor re-creates his lost love in a work of art that challenges the boundary between truth and the ideal. The award-winning novelist Patrice Nganang's lyrical and majestic Mount Pleasant is a resurrection of the world of early-twentieth-century Cameroon and an elegy for the men and women swept up in the forces of colonization.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. An elegantly drawn and engaging world of a sort unknown to most readers - but one they'll be glad to have visited." - Kirkus

"Readers will slowly uncover a history of Cameroon that parallels, mirrors, and subverts history in service of Nganang's brilliant myth making." - Publishers Weekly

"In 1930s Cameroon, a young girl is mistaken for a dead artist and raised as his replacement in a story spanning decades and verging on surrealism." - Library Journal

This information about Mount Pleasant was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Patrice Nganang Author Biography

Patrice Nganang was born in Cameroon and is a novelist, poet, and essayist. His novel Temps de chien received the Prix Marguerite Yourcenar and the Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire. He is also the author of La Joie de vivre and L'Invention d'un beau regard. He teaches comparative literature at Stony Brook University.

When the Plums are Ripe and Mount Pleasant are both translated from the French by Amy Baram Reid.

Link to Patrice Nganang's Website

Name Pronunciation
Patrice Nganang: GA-nang

Other books by Patrice Nganang at BookBrowse
  • When the Plums Are Ripe jacket
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