Publisher Emmanuelle Collas
Publication Date 15 April 2022

Literature and Fiction


The new novel by Djaïli Amadou Amal, after Les impatientes.

The author of Les Impatientes’ new work is the story of a Cameroonian girl whose father is kidnapped by Boko Haram and as a result she must prevent her family from falling into extreme poverty. A moving novel about climate change and the condition of women, especially servants, in the Sahel. A story of love and friendship. 

In the far north of Cameroon, where both climate change and Boko Haram attacks plague the region, Faydé, fifteen, decides to join Srafata and Bintou, who have also been forced to become servants in Maroua. Oppressed by the responsibilities to their families, they endure rape, abuse and class discrimination in their struggle to survive and build futures for themselves. Lively and endearing, sometimes desperate, they dream of success, joy and love. How will they manage to find their way in these circumstances where their destiny seems to be all mapped out?
Djaïli Amadou Amal comes from this region of Cameroon and is Peuhl and Muslim. An outstanding storyteller, she won the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens for Les impatientes. Choix Goncourt for the Orient, the United Kingdom, Greece, Algeria, the Czech Republic, Serbia and Tunisia, she is UNICEF’s Ambassador to Cameroon. Les impatientes has been translated into more than twenty languages and is the winner of the International Association of Francophone Mayors Award, the Woman of Influence Award and the Métis High School Students' Award. 
"In this book, I am able to tell of all the difficulties that women face in the Sahel, including climate change and Boko Haram. My novel also evokes a story of acceptance of others, tolerance and interculturality," explains Djaïli Amadou Amal, whose new novel has also been a success: more than 20,000 copies have already been sold in France.
"With Cœur du Sahel, once again the Cameroonian novelist writes from a woman’s perspective and succeeds brilliantly in doing what she does so well: combine romance with a portrait of society," writes Le Monde
"The French paperback and audio rights have both been sold for five-digit advances," says Milena Ascione, Head of Rights at Emmanuelle Collas.
The foreign rights for Cœur du Sahel were quickly sold in Germany (Orlanda Verlag) and Italy (Solferino) publishers of Les impatientes (2021). "Amal no longer needs to prove herself, both publishers wanted to publish the author's second work after the Goncourt award and they were seduced by this magnificent story of love and friendship which is a true portrait of the local society," says Milena Ascione. The English language version of Cœur du Sahel is under option with Harper Via, the New York publisher of Les impatientes (October 2022).