Migrant Brothers


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A Poet’s Declaration of Human Dignity

Patrick Chamoiseau; Translated by Matthew Amos and Fredrik Rönnbäck

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“If justice had a Jericho trumpet, Chamoiseau would be it.”—Junot Díaz

As migrants embark on perilous journeys across oceans and deserts in pursuit of sanctuary and improved living conditions, what is the responsibility of those safely ensconced in the nations they seek to enter? Moved by repeated tragedies among immigrants attempting to enter eastern and southern Europe, Patrick Chamoiseau assails the hypocrisy and detachment that allow these events to happen. Migrant Brothers is an urgent declaration of our essential interconnectedness that asserts the necessity to understand one another as part of one human community, regardless of national origin.

Patrick Chamoiseau is the author of Texaco and Solibo Magnificent and winner of the Prix Goncourt, among many other prizes. He lives in Martinique.

“Chamoiseau is an absolute necessity. In this extraordinary volume on the migrant crisis, you will find all ‘unpredictable brilliance of beauty’ but also one of our greatest living writers fighting to find, to illuminate, to summon from our political darkness ‘another vision of the world and its future.’  If justice had a Jericho trumpet, Chamoiseau would be it.”—Junot Díaz

“We are all nomadic creatures, and few of us can trace our roots singly to the place where we now happen to live. Today, perhaps more than ever, Chamoiseau's eloquent plea to recognize the plight of our fellow exiles is essential reading. This is an incandescent, necessary book for our heartless times.”—Alberto Manguel

“Patrick Chamoiseau’s Migrant Brothers is a short, beautiful, and challenging book, a cri de coeur about the crisis of immigration in Europe. It is an important and compelling statement, one that needs to be heard.”—Christopher L. Miller, Yale University

Migrant Brothers is a lyric masterpiece of global critique, a passionate and searing indictment of the violence and hypocrisy of the contemporary world. Its ringing and vibrant invocation of our universal human interrelation sounds a searing cry of revolt against the misery of the world. In one of his finest texts, Chamoiseau reanimates and sharpens the ethical injunction of Glissant’s poetics of Relation, while renewing the poetic passion of Aimé Césaire in revolt against the human and political catastrophes that already define the 21st century.”—Nick Nesbitt, Princeton University

"Chamoiseau is a writer who has the sophistication of the modern novelist, and it is from that position (as an heir of Joyce and Kafka) that he holds out his hand to the oral prehistory of literature."—Milan Kundera

“Chamoiseau’s characters are not only names but beings. Their conduct is drawn from the complexities of sensation rather than of action. We inhabit them naturally, their rages that roar like a rainstorm through a ravine, their sense of insult as sensitive as those weeds that close like shutters.”—Derek Walcott, New York Review of Books

“Mr. Chamoiseau is a writer of exceptional and original gifts whose prose is saturated in a kind of bemused gorgeousness, fermented in a broth of unexpected juxtapositions.”—Richard Bernstein, New York Times

“A hymn to hospitality and tolerance. A poetic and political manifesto, a roar against ‘the darkening of the world.’"—Marie Lemonnier, L'Obs

“The writer powerfully evokes the drama of refugees in Europe.”—Gladys Marivat, Le Monde Des Livres

“Poetic essay, manifesto, and cri de coeur, a book that captures the ‘catastrophe of our age.’”—Yann Perreau, Les Inrockuptibles

“An anthem for tolerance, hospitality, and fraternity—a manifesto for a new world.”—Fiona Le Brun, Asymptote

 “[Chamoiseau] writes in a Creolised French all of his own. His short, lyrical book, Migrant Brothers. . . looks for a framework of thinking that might give our consciousness a jolt. . . to offer a manifesto ‘for a global humanity’.”—Tim Adams, Observer 

“A book of deliberate poetic activism spurred by vicarious encounters with brutality in the heart of France . . . Chamoiseau pleads ‘for a global politics of hospitality’ stretching beyond Europe and into all places humanity is found.”—World Literature Today (“Nota Bene” column)

“[Chamoiseau’s] rhythms are rhapsodic, his pitch attuned to ardor more than attitude, his assertions buoyed by telling imagery. The impulsive aim of his prose is not to convince you but to occupy you, to ‘activate a practice’ of experiencing globality and relation through lyrically committed language.”—Ron Slate, On the Seawall
ISBN: 9780300232943
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
144 pages, 4 3/4 x 7
1 b/w illus.