Coming Back

Original title: Revenir

Author: Raharimanana, Jean-Luc

Publication Date:

March 2018



Original language and publisher

French | Payot & Rivages

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

Germany (Noack & Block)


Literary Fiction

Coming Back

Original title: Revenir

Author: Raharimanana, Jean-Luc


A feverish ode to melting pots and to peace, a cry of distress and of hope, this novel, which borders on the autobiographical, is a love letter to both Madagascar and to literature itself.

Hira, a Malagasy writer, born on the seventh anniversary of Madagascar’s Independence, sees the world through the prism of childhood memories of his island.

The enchanted childhood he calls up was filled with laughter and colors. French intertwined with Malagasy languages, and pre-colonial myths lived cheerfully alongside those from the West. But Hira gradually moves back towards a darker, slightly more distant past, to the stories of his father, a pacifist intellectual who was arrested and tortured by the authorities in 2002; and of his grandfather, a member of the Independence movement who died at age 32 after having been jailed by the French colonizers. So, his own personal story blends into history, as memories loom: from tales of the 1947 riots, to more recent images of the student rebellion of 1972, the lynching that took place in 1984, and more.

Revenir is the tale of a child’s innocence shattered by the absurdity and violence of the world. From that point on, writing becomes a refuge for beauty and poetry, and a necessary way to express rebellion and condemn horrors.