About this book
The stories in this book are love letters. But they are not conventional love letters. Love or lack of love are just excuses that open the doors for us to know the dramatic circumstances surrounding the women who wrote them. In fact, the real characters in these letters are poverty, war, immigration, dictatorship, violence, prostitution, social pressure, integration… And it is women who write these letters, women who live in very difficult personal and social circumstances and who face their lives with courage. This is a sound but tender book, an anthem to life and dignity.
I am writing to let you know about your brother’s death. My mouth is heavy, in pain. Silence pierced my heart, filled my veins with dead moths and now I feel that everything is burning inside, about to burst open. My wolof mouth is burnt like coal. And despite all this it is our own people, the people of Senegal who decided to emigrate to Europe looking for a better life, who are telling the lies. I mean that they tell lies when they write back home. Maybe they are afraid of failing. Maybe it is shame. But honestly things are not easy for us, sometimes life here is unbearable, far more than in our own country, though nobody is ready to tell it to our families, so distant, in Senegal, so many days beyond a bird’s journey. I am writing to let you know about your brother’s death but I need to speak up. Maybe I wouldn’t have told you the truth if it wasn’t for the fact that I walked down this path of disgrace with death by my side, as an inevitable black star that took away the only thing I had. The only thing that was truly mine. I write to you, my dear Nafissatou, because you know well that you are the person I love most in all Senegal, the person I feel more trust and affection for.