One Ocean, Two Seas, Three Continents

Original title: Un océan, deux mers, trois continents

Publication Date:

January 2018



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Literary Fiction

One Ocean, Two Seas, Three Continents

Original title: Un océan, deux mers, trois continents

  • 2 Seas Represents: Dutch, Nordic, and North American Rights
  • Rights sold: Romania, Italy (offer received)
  • Winner of the Prix Ahmadou Kourouma 2018 and Prix France Bleu/Page des Librairies 2018
  • Longlisted Prix Queffélec, Finalist for Prix Ouest-France Étonnants Voyageurs 2018, Longlisted Grand Prix SGDL de la fiction, Longlisted Prix des romancières, Longlisted for Prix de Trouville 2018, Longlisted for Prix Littérature-Monde, Finalist for the Prix Orange du Livre 2018
  • Over 10,000 copies sold


Making a comeback, Wilfried N’sondé writes and speaks for his heroes more than four hundred years later. He has tackled a powerful book, simultaneously an adventure novel, an indictment against slavery, and a denunciation of all fundamentalist establishments. – Jean-Claude Perrier, Livres Hebdo

This novel, One Ocean, Two Seas, Three Continents, is one of those works that give us the lasting impression of being discovered by ourselves, of having had the chance to listen, over the course of the pages, our own humanity. One of those novels we want to tell the world about: “Read it just to hear the murmur of your heart, to reconcile a part of yourself, the humanity that may be sleeping inside of you.” – Sami Tchack, Africultures

A grand adventurous novel resonating with today’s world. – Serge Bressan, Le quotidien du Luxembourg

Diving into this tormented piece, Wilfried N’Sondé marks a vibrant indictment. This one comes to the scene in a passionate way, fighting against all the zealotry, prejudice, and cruelty of yesterday and today. – Marie-Aimée Bonnefoy, La Charente Libre

From one century to another, the mingled voices of the author and his marvelous character call us to reconciliation and courage, in action and in opinion. – Elise Lépine, Transfuge

One ocean, Two seas, Three continents is a historic novel exploring the very worst sides of humanity and horrors seen during a period of obscurantism. Nevertheless it is in no way a complaint; the work is inspired by a true story that above all, speaks of hope and tolerance, a book with a powerful message, in the interest of reconciliation. – Raoul Mbog, Télérama

This story is told as an adventure story with a thousand twists and turns, with a writing style that merges elements of raw reality and depiction of tragic events. Wilfried N’Sondé draws from forgotten memories, with his talent, an unrecognised moral figure. – Muriel Steinmetz, L’Humanité

The picturesque novel is a fantastic portrayal of poetry, faith in mankind and sincerity. We lose our foothold in the vicissitudes of man throughout this story. But thanks to the main character and it’s author, we always find joy in solidarity and hope. Furthermore, there is a very specific understanding of the world during this period, as it echoes the present day. – Jean-Claude Vantroyen, Le Soir (Belgique)

A book of great literary power. The style of the author is a marvel, more intimate than epic despite having moments of outstanding bravery, it serves as a beautiful tribute to this unusual character who has been unjustly ignored.  – Michel Paquot, L’Avenir (Belgique)

With One Ocean, Two Seas, Three Continents, Wilfried N’Sondé has started a beautiful revolution. – Karin Cherloneix, Ouest-France

Wilfriend N’Sondé gives a voice to this pious and naïve character, who has been tossed around by the waves of political calculations, in a novel of adventure, pirates, and understanding. The writer questions the ‘gangrene’ of slavery and it’s logic of ‘redefining human nature as it pleases’.  – Gladys Marivat, Le Monde des livres

A philosophical story, a plea for tolerance and solidarity, this superb novel by Wilfried N’Sondé draws the reader in with the purity of it’s lyrical and removed style. – Claire Julliard, L’Obs

The story of this innocent Congolese character is a vibrant plea for freedom and equality. A success.  – Héloïse Rocca, Version Femina

A historical novel, as courageous as it is successful… The author manages to explore this part of history with sensitivity and intelligence, whilst using both precise and flamboyant language, such as is his style.” – Élisabeth Jobin, Le Temps

Wilfried N’Sondé imaginatively recreates the historical figure of the first African ambassador to the Vatican, who died in Rome in 1608, filling in the blanks to tell his little-known life story.

In the early 17th century, Nsaku Ne Vunda, who is ordained a priest and baptized Dom Antonio Manuel, is appointed by the king of the Bakongos as his ambassador to the pope with the mission of opposing the slave trade. As he bids farewell to his native Kongo natal and sets out on his long voyage to Rome, he is unaware that he will first be taken via the New World and that the boat in which he is sailing is, in reality, a slave ship. In a true test of his faith in God and his fellow man, Dom Antonio Manuel experiences an incredible series of adventures and setbacks as he travels from Africa to Brazil and the Caribbean, and finally to Italy via the Iberian peninsula and the Mediterranean. The story of a Congolese Candide exploring the world, Un océan, deux mers, trois continents denounces the horrors of a dark and superstitious age but, rather than descending into bleakness, finds space to exalt beauty and hope.

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