David Diop and Micheliny Verunschk
Host: Milena Britto is a Professor of Literature at the Federal University of Bahia
There are many commonalities between the most recent novels by Micheliny Verunschk and David Diop. In O som do rugido da onça [The Sound of the Roar of the Jaguar], the Pernambuco writer dodges hegemonic historiography and sets the narrative on the voids left by exile and colonial violence. She tells the story of Iñe-e and Juri, indigenous children taken from their lands by a European naturalist. A porta da viagem sem retorno [The Door of the Journey of No Return], by Senegalese-descendant French novelist David Diop, goes the opposite direction in the Atlantic Ocean. Referring to the Gorée Island, one of the slave trade hubs on the African continent, the writer reimagines the life of botanist Michel Adanson, a man of the Enlightenment moved by the project of writing a great encyclopedia of living beings. In both books, the reader sees lives put at stake by the lure of an endless progress, which dilacerates bodies, tears up memories and threatens to make people forget themselves and who they are.