Amazon is the magical and picaresque tale of one black man’s odyssey through the Amazonian rainforest. One day, A.S., clad in a white tuxedo, stumbles upon a small, uncharted village along the banks of the Rio Negro. The sole survivor of a great shipwreck, he has been floating along the river for days on a makeshift raft, playing jazz tunes on his dazzling white Steinway to pass the time away. This strange apparition creates a stir among the coffee growing villagers, a reminder of a world of high living and sophisticated glamour they once knew. A.S. has but two things on his mind: an end to his journey and a promise made to a mysterious woman. During a game of dice with the ex-colonel Rodrigues, who is here seeking his fortune after a failed military coup, he loses his piano and is left with but one choice: working as a jazz pianist at Rodrigues’ tavern. Along this extraordinary and baroque adventure, we follow A.S. as he artfully bungles Rodrigues’ butterfly farming scheme, and meet a host of other characters, all somehow linked to the lost piano, all with a stake in an impossible dream. A masterful storyteller, Fermine has an immense talent for carrying us off to distant places, leaving us with unforgettable images and rich, sensory details.
Maxence Fermine : Maxence Fermine is the author of Le Violon noir (2000), published here as The Black Violin by Atria Books in 2003, L’Apiculteur (2000), forthcoming from Acorn Books Ltd., Neige (2001), published as Snow by Atria Books in 2002, Opium (2002), and Billiard Blues (2003). Rights to his novels have been sold in over ten different countries. Amazone is the winner of the 2004 Prix Livres et Musiques de Deauville.