In French: Léonora Miano’s 'La Saison de l’Ombre'

La Saison de l’ombre, is a story by French writer Léonora Miano. The story is set during the height of the slave trade, in the sub-Saharan village of Mulongo. It is the moving story of the villagers’ struggle to cope with the shocking kidnapping of twelve tribe members during a mysterious fire.

The novel begins as the survivors rebuild the village and wonder how the ten young men and two village elders disappeared in the conflagration. In the midst of all this activity, the mothers of the missing boys have been gathered in a house on the outskirts of the village. One night they hear the voices of their lost sons in their dreams. A strange mist surrounds the building, alerting the clan that something is amiss. (..)

With La Saison de l’ombre Léonara Miano continues her project of documenting the 400-year experience of sub-Saharans during the dark times of the slave trade. In her previous book, Les Aubes Ecarlates, the second volume of the trilogy Suite Africaine, a child soldier is haunted by ghosts of the past, slaves who didn’t survive the trip to America. In her writing, Miano demonstrates how an oppressed people resisted, perished, and confronted the loss of their world. She shows how every human being is like the enigmatic young boy Bana, who accompanies Eyabe in her quest—“a multitude.” So she reveals a hidden, invisible part of sub-Saharan history, and uncovers a trace of its ancestors.  Read more at

Léonora Miano is a Cameroonian author (born 1973, in Douala) who lives in Paris since 1991. Her debut novel L'Intérieur de la nuit (Dark heart of the night) was translated and published by University of Nebraska Press in 2005. She received the prix Femina in France for La Saison de l’Ombre (published by Grasset in 2013).

In de video Miano talks about her book