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Anguille sous roche – Ali Zamir

Anguille sous roche is Ali Zamir’s first novel, published by Le Tripode. Set in the island of Anjouan in Comoros, a group of islands located in the western section of the Indian Ocean, this striking novel is the one-sentence cry of Anguille who hastily narrates her life while she is on the verge of drowning at sea. Anguille is expansive, vivid, full of surprises, just like the French saying “anguille sous roche” which translates into “something is brewing”.

The narration is mainly linear in time, like an object drowning, but the text is bursting, as a person struggling for one’s safety. The story relates her freedom, her difference from her sister Crotale, her strength and resolution. A sea of details relative to the local life (neighbouring towns, colours, workers and

The language used throughout is varied, full, expressive just like Anguille decided to live her life, skipping school chasing the physical contact of an older man. The text is a perpetual turbulence, jolting among and kneading together wedges of a French language that is revealed here in a strong expression, representative of the brightness of Francophone authors. Despite the movement that could make the reader seasick, Zamir manages to bond our attention to Anguille next burst of resistance for her life. A very powerful, and great start for a promising author.

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