A classic of queer literature that’s as electrifying today as it was when it originally appeared in 1982, On a Woman’s Madness tells the story of Noenka, a courageous Black woman trying to live a life of her choosing.
When her abusive husband of just nine days refuses her request for divorce, Noenka flees her hometown in Suriname, on South America's tropical northeastern coast, for the capital city of Paramaribo. Unsettled and unsupported, her life in this new place is illuminated by the passionate romances of the present but haunted by society’s expectations and her ancestral past.
Translated into sensuous English for the first time by Lucy Scott, Astrid Roemer’s intimate novel—with its tales of plantation-dwelling snakes, rare orchids, and star-crossed lovers—is a blistering meditation on the cruelties we inflict on those who disobey. Roemer, the first Surinamese winner of the prestigious Dutch Literature Prize, carves out postcolonial Suriname in barbed, resonant fragments. Who is Noenka? Roemer asks us. “I’m Noenka,” she responds resolutely, “which means Never Again.”
In 1966, at the age of 19, Astrid Roemer emigrated from Suriname to the Netherlands. She identifies herself as a cosmopolitan writer. Exploring themes of race, gender, family, and identity, her poetic, unconventional prose stands in the tradition of authors such as Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. She was awarded the P.C. Hooft Prize in 2016, and the three-yearly Dutch Literature Prize (Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren) in 2021.
- Publisher: Two Lines Press (February 21, 2023)
- Language: English
- Hardcover: 284 pages
- ISBN-10: 1949641430
- ISBN-13: 9781949641431
- Item Weight: 1.74 pounds