The Aquatic Ones

Original title: Les aquatiques

Author: Lewat, Osvalde

Publication Date:

August 2021



Original language and publisher

French | Les Escales

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French


Debut Novel, Literary Fiction

Number of copies sold:


The Aquatic Ones

Original title: Les aquatiques

Author: Lewat, Osvalde


Magnificent! — Atiq Rahimi, Goncourt Prize winner for his novel SYNGUE SABOUR

A powerful debut novel by Osvalde Lewat, a renowned documentary film-maker. A striking story leading to a new vision of the French-speaking African societies today. Les Aquatiques is set in a fictional African country and tells the coming of age story of Katme.

She is a woman in her early forties, married to a local politician whose life will be turned upside down when her husband’s political ambitions collide with her personal life: Her best friend, Samy, an artist whom she subsidizes is gay and will be thrown in jail because of her and her husband.

The consequences will be devastating for Samy and for Katme. Les Aquatiques is a universal story because it tells how this woman has to reinvent herself and how she will face up to the challenges life offers her. The writing is brutally honest, cynical, it also manages to be laugh out loud funny as well as totally heartbreaking. It is also a picture of modern-day Africa, the struggles for a more just society.

Marketing Information

  • Winner of the Prix Kourouma, the Grand Prix panafricain de littérature and the Prix du rayonnement de la langue et de la littérature françaises décerné par l’académie française.
  • Selected for the Prix des 5 continents de la francophonie and the Prix des Afriques 2022.