The Sentinel of Calvary

Original title: Veilleuse du calvaire

Publication Date:

August 2023



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

English (World) (Schaffner Press)


Literary Fiction


  • Prix Femina 2023 (longlisted)

The Sentinel of Calvary

Original title: Veilleuse du calvaire


The Sentinel of Calvary has reigned over the hill forever. She has been taken for a Madonna, a ghost and a spirit, but she is none of those things. The Sentinel is a girl who liked the rain. It is always surprising when a voice emerges from a place that was thought to be empty. I am, she says, your duty of remembrance that has chosen the body of a women to ensure that there are no lies or omissions in the tale. In the present as well as the past, our bodies bear the traces of all the offences and all the rejections. And they are also the path for all the promises.

In Lyonel Trouillot’s work, female courage is a character in its own right. There is a political dimension to this writer, but poems and novels are his medium of expression. This book is a plaintive cry from the heart from the women of this island (and around the world) who are battling the folly of men and the contempt, lack of respect and hatred of which they are the targets and the victims.

A major novel about the power and resilience of women in which furious voices join in recounting the defence of a hillside where the birds used to sing and the children played. A wild place that a solicitor put up for sale in separate lots one day, as if opening the door to abuses of power and financial malpractice.