Woman of Skies and Storms

Original title: Femme du ciel et des tempêtes

Publication Date:

August 2021



Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Literary Fiction

Woman of Skies and Storms

Original title: Femme du ciel et des tempêtes


In early summer, Noum, a Nenets shaman living in the Yamal peninsula, discovers beneath the melted permafrost what looks like the grave of an ancient queen dating from over ten thousand years ago. To his stupefaction, the body mummified in the ice has black skin. Could the peoples of Siberia have African ancestors?

The shaman would like to keep this discovery to himself out of respect for the spirit of the deceased, but the territory where she rests is under threat from a major gas project.

Arousing the interest of scientists around the world would also be a means of raising international awareness of this magnificent natural landscape. Noum seeks the help of a French zoologist friend who visited Siberia the previous year for his research.

Laurent is a fifty-something scientist, eager for professional recognition and glory. Rather than launching a high-profile expedition with all the attendant media coverage, he opts to work under the radar so that he can be sure of all the credit for the discovery, should it turn out to be authentic. He enlists the help of two competent young assistants who are sufficiently idealistic to be willing to work outside of an official framework: Cosima, a German-Japanese doctor of medicine, and Silvère, a Congolese ethnologist.

But in the Yamal peninsula, a New Russian who will be running the future gas facility and his henchman will do whatever it takes to ensure that nothing gets in the way of their grand plans… The familiar verve of Wilfried N’Sondé is present and correct in this gripping adventure novel about ecology, harmony with the living world, solidarity between peoples and the connections between the visible and invisible worlds.

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