Riambel (Paperback)

Riambel By Priya Hein Cover Image
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Description


Fifteen-year-old Noemi has no choice but to leave school and work in the house of the wealthy De Grandbourg family.

Just across the road from the slums where she grew up, she encounters a world that is starkly different from her own ­– yet one which would have been all too familiar to her ancestors. Bewitched by a pair of green eyes and haunted by echoes, her life begins to mirror those of girls who have gone before her.

Within Noemi’s lament is also the herstory of Mauritius; the story of women who have resisted arrest, of teachers who care for their poorest pupils and encourage them to challenge traditional narratives, of a flawed Paradise undergoing slow but unstoppable change.

In Riambel, Priya Hein invites us to protest, to rail against longstanding structures of class and ethnicity. She shows us a world of natural enchantment contrasted with violence and the abuse of power. This seemingly simple tale of servitude, seduction and abandonment blisters with a fierce sense of injustice.

About the Author


Priya Hein was born in Mauritius. She has published several children’s books and short stories, and has contributed to a number of anthologies. In 2017 she was nominated by the National Library of Mauritius for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. She was selected for the Women’s Creative Mentorship Project for the University of Iowa International Writing Program. Her debut manuscript Riambel won the 2021 Jean Fanchette Prize. Priya lives in Munich and Mauritius with her family.

Praise For…


Priya Hein has given us a book that should be essential reading for all those who care about our history, in particular the devastating legacy of slavery; but what is extraordinary is that she tells this harrowing story in the most beautiful prose, luminous and musical, drawing in the reader before hitting them hard with the reality of her young narrator’s life, and the humiliations and pain she endures because of this very legacy. Today more than ever, this story needs to be told; Priya Hein does so movingly and powerfully.’
Ananda Devi, author of Eve Out of Her Ruins

‘Modern and edgy . . . rich in smells, sounds and feelings.’
Süddeutsche Zeitung

Riambel bravely grasps the complexity of ethnic relationships in Mauritius . . . displaying great art in the sense of shame blended with indignation and in the gaps in what is not said.’
J. M. G. Le Clézio, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature

"In Hein’s hands, the harrowing herstories of Noemi and her ancestors become part of a larger project of recovery and literary preservation. Inspired by the global Black Lives Matter movement, this is a project that seeks to honour the fugitive culture of the enslaved and highlight a continuum of exploitative realities by incorporating slave songs and creole recipes into its incisive exploration of life in present-day Mauritius. . . . In the span of a mere 160 pages, this extraordinary debut packs rare insight into the trauma and deference seeded by the long reign of capitalism and the white man’s whims."
Cardiff Review



"Today more than ever, this story needs to be told; Priya Hein does so movingly and powerfully." — Ananda Devi, Author of Eve Out of Her Ruins

"Riambel bravely grasps the complexity of ethnic relationships in Mauritius...displaying great art in the sense of shame blended with indignation and in the gaps in what is not said."  — J. M. G. Le Clézio, Winner of The Nobel Prize For Literature

"Modern and edgy...rich in smells, sounds and feelings."  — Süddeutsche Zeitung, Daily Newspaper in Germany

"A stunning book which cradles the anger of generational slavery experienced by Mauritians...Absolutely stunning piece of writing, thank you Priya for sharing our history with the world."  — Shelina Permalloo, Restaurateur, Food Writer and TV Chef

"Priya Hein’s novel is spell-binding. Riambel is beautiful. It is terse and yet lyrical. It is tough, and yet bursting with life."  — Lindsey Collen, Author of The Rape of Sita and Getting Rid of it

"In the span of a mere 160 pages, this extraordinary debut packs rare insight into the trauma and deference seeded by the long reign of capitalism and the white man’s whims."  — Vartika Rasto, Reviewer for The Cardiff Review

"It’s a slim novel but one that punches deeply and screams aloud. It invites us to oppose the injustice of the longstanding structures of class, hostility and white capitalism."  — Nataliya Deleva, Author of Four Minutes and Arrival

"Beautiful, powerful prose supporting an important story. I'll be haunted by the mother and her two daughters from Riambel for years to come. Please treat yourself to this pithy novel." — Zeba Talkhani, Author of My Past is a Foreign Country and The Most Exciting Eid

"Not just a brilliant addition to contemporary Mauritian literature, but to literature, period. I'm feeling the book's themes of power, ethnicity, and colonial legacy - then and now - alongside its cold rage, vulnerability and utter strength deeply. It truly sings."  — Niven Govinden, Author of Diary of a Film


Product Details
ISBN: 9781911648499
ISBN-10: 1911648497
Publisher: The Indigo Press
Publication Date: May 30th, 2023
Pages: 160
Language: English

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