Maryse Condé’s Waiting for the Waters to Rise begins in her native Guadeloupe but is ultimately a novel that centers on statelessness. The three characters at the novel’s heart—Babakar, Movar, and Fouad from Mali, Haiti, and Palestine respectively—are all migrants driven from their homelands. Condé is a master storyteller capable of traversing multiple countries with their own histories of colonialism and political violence so that we come to know each character more intimately and why the friendship they forge is so vital to their survival.
Adam Wilson's latest novel Sensation Machines, released in paperback this month by Soho Press, depicts an economic collapse that seems not so much plausible as inevitable. We follow the unravelling through the perspectives, and the relationship of, Michael and Wendy. Their contrasting temperaments offer a parallax view of society. What struck me most, however, was how Wilson approaches our fractured and crumbling world with an anthropologist's eyean eye focused on our strange, mostly arbitrary, economy of desires and what motivates our everyday insanity.