We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Tropic of Violence

On sale

28th April 2022

Price: £8.99

Select a format

Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780857057716

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

Marie, a nurse on the island of Mayotte, adopts an abandoned baby and names him Moïse, raising him as a French boy. As he grows up, Moïse struggles with his status as an “outsider” and to understand why he was abandoned as a baby. When Marie dies, he is left alone, plunged into uncertainty and turmoil, ending up in the largest and most infamous slum on Mayotte, nicknamed “Gaza”.

Narrated by five different characters, Tropic of Violence is an exploration of lost youth on the French island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean. Shining a powerful light on problems of violence, immigration, identity, deprivation and isolation on this island that became a French département in 2011, it is a remarkable, unsettling new novel that draws on the author’s own observations from her time on Mayotte.

Translated from the French by Geoffrey Strachan


François Busnel, La Grande Librairie
A masterpiece
Julien Bisson, Lire
In the magnificent Tropic of Violence, Nathacha Appanah gives us a terrifying portrait of Mayotte
Xavier Houssin, Elle
This hard, harsh story will wring out your heart with its otherworldly poetry
Marianne Payot, L'Express
The strength and the elegance of this novel will take your breath away
Gladys Marivat, Le Monde
A brief, beautiful, brutal portrait of this tiny island in the Indian Ocean
Claire Devarrieux, Libération
The hell of Mayotte finds its redemption in the novel's restrained, imaginative use of language
Brilliantly vivid
New Yorker
Beautiful and brutal
Kirkus Reviews
Searing, lyrical, and ultimately devastating, Tropic of Violence might be Appanah's finest yet