White Clouds

  • Yandé Seck writes intelligently, lovingly and with subtle wit about the ambivalences we are forced to endure, exemplified by the complex dynamics in the microcosm of one family
  • English sample translation by Priscilla Layne available
  • Recommended for translation by New Books in German

Two sisters: one fighting all the injustices of our present, the other the bourgeois family ideal; one for whom the central political category is being black while for the other, it is being a mother. 

Dieo lives with her husband Simon and three sons in a beautiful apartment in Frankfurt. While society’s impossible demands on her as a mother weigh on her, her younger sister Zazie’s constant reproachful criticisms and analyses of every injustice in the world don't help to alleviate her every-day struggles. Zazie herself tries to find a way to live in the dichotomy of her black identity in a white world. But most often she feels paralyzed. Simon, a middle-aged white man who works for a financial start-up, is also regularly exposed to his sister-in-law's increasingly exasperation due to the racist and sexist society she and her sister have to live in, bringing both frustration and insights into his reality.

When the sisters’ father, who came to Germany from Senegal, dies unexpectedly, the painstakingly calibrated family structure is thrown out of balance. The sisters travel to Senegal for the funeral – a farewell that ends up turning into a new beginning for both, in more ways than one.

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  • Publisher: Kiepenheuer&Witsch
  • Release: 08.02.2024
  • 352 pages
  • ISBN: 978-3-462-00497-7
Nils Heck

Yandé Seck

Yandé Seck was born in 1986 and lives in Frankfurt am Main with her husband and two children. She works as a psychotherapist for children and teens, teaches at the University of Frankfurt and is doing her doctorate on motherhood, migration and psychoanalysis. White Clouds is her first novel.