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The Story of the Cannibal Woman

The Story of the Cannibal Woman

A Novel

Translated by: Richard Philcox
  • reading group guide
One dark night in Cape Town, Rosélie's husband goes out for a pack of cigarettes and never comes back. Not only is she left with unanswered questions about his violent death but she is also left without any means of support. At the urging of her housekeeper and best friend, the new widow decides to take advantage of the strange gifts she has always possessed and embarks on a career as a clairvoyant. As Rosélie builds a new life for herself and seeks the truth about her husband's murder, acclaimed Caribbean author Maryse Condé crafts a deft exploration of post-apartheid South Africa and a smart, gripping thriller.

The Story of the Cannibal Woman is both contemporary and international, following the lives of an interracial, intercultural couple in New York City, Tokyo, and Capetown. Maryse Condé is known for vibrantly lyrical language and fearless, inventive storytelling -- she uses both to stunning effect in this magnificently original novel.
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  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743271295 | 
  • April 2008
List Price $16.00
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Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Guide
The Story of the Cannibal Woman
by Maryse Condè


SUMMARY
One dark night in Cape Town, Rosèlie's husband goes out for a pack of cigarettes and never comes back. Not only is she left with unanswered questions about his violent death, but she is also left without any means of support. At the urging of her housekeeper and best friend, the new widow decides to take advantage of the strange gifts she has always possessed and embarks on a career as a clairvoyant. As Rosèlie builds a new life for herself and seeks the truth about her husband's murder, acclaimed Carribbean author Maryse Condè crafts a deft exploration of post-apartheid South Africa and a smart, gripping thriller.
The Story of the Cannibal Woman is both contemporary and international, following the lives of an interracial, intercultural couple in New York City, Tokyo, and Cape Town. Maryse Condè is known for her vibrantly lyrical language and fearless, inventive storytelling -- she uses both to stunning effect in this magnificently original novel.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
  1. The Story of the Cannibal Woman is told mostly in the third person. However, there is an "I" that abruptly inserts itself into the story starting in chapter three. Who does this voice belong to? Rosèlie? How does the narration evolve and change throughout the novel?

  2. Sever
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About the Author

Maryse Conde
Photo Credit:

Maryse Conde

Maryse Condé is the award-winning author of twelve novels, including Crossing the Mangrove, Segu, Who Slashed Celanire's Throat?, and I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem. She lives in New York and Montebello, Guadeloupe.

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