A very happy book birthday to Voice of the Two Shores by Agnès Agboton, translated by Lawrence Schimel and published this week by Flipped Eye. I love nothing better than taking a book for a lunch walk along the beach and this one has been on such an incredible journey across the shores already.
Originally written in Gun (an endangered West African language), it was co-translated into Spanish with Lawrence Schimel and then into English. And nothing is lost en route… rather we read a rich tapestry of crossings, displacements and (re)discoveries, playing out between these shores, across a triptych of languages on the page.
Written in Spain with an almost bodily longing for Benin, these are songs of love and war and exile. Agboton bears witness to the devastating beauty of every passing moment - “zaan enin… ese instante… that moment” - passing through language itself to see beyond words.