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In the Company of Men. A Conversation between Véronique Tadjo and Madeleine Dobie
Drawing on real accounts of the Ebola outbreak that devastated West Africa, Véronique Tadjo's poignant, timely fable reflects on both the strength and the fragility of life and of humanity’s place in the natural world. Acutely relevant to our times in light of the coronavirus pandemic, In the Company of Men explores critical questions about how we cope with a global crisis and how we can combat fear and prejudice.

Newly translated into English by The Other Press (set for release in February 2021), Tadjo tells the story of two boys who venture from their village to hunt in a nearby forest, where they shoot down bats with glee, and cook their prey over an open fire. Within a month, they are dead, bodies ravaged by an insidious disease that neither the local healer’s potions nor the medical team’s treatments could cure. Compounding the family’s grief, experts warn against touching the sick. But this caution comes too late: the virus spreads rapidly, and the boys’ father is barely able to send his eldest daughter away for a chance at survival.

Véronique Tadjo is a writer, poet, novelist, and artist from Côte d'Ivoire. Having lived and worked in many countries within the African continent and diaspora, she defines herself as pan-African, in a way that is reflected in the subject matter, imagery and allusions of her work.

This event is part of the course "Pandemics in Francophone literature and history" taught by Madeleine Dobie and Thomas Dodman at Columbia University.

Event co-sponsored by the Columbia Maison Française, Center for Science and Society, Department of History, Institute of African Studies, Center for Comparative Literature and Society, and The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, and the Other Press.

Dec 1, 2020 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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