Book Description: Cast in a language at once as stark and as pregnant with possibility as the West African landscape itself, this prizewinning collection of poems by acclaimed African writer and artist Veronique Tadjo cuts to the heart of the modern African experience. The term laterite refers to the red, iron-rich earth characteristic of many West African villages and roads. Suggestive of movement--of the age-old displacement of African peoples, of shifting directions and an uncertain future--it is at the same time emblematic of connectedness, of the visceral bond between people and the land that sustains them. These themes echo throughout Red Earth / Laterite as the poems slowly intertwine, recapitulating one another to form an extended recitative, a lyrical narrative of love and outrage and loss. Together, they constitute a vivid statement about the African experience from on of the continent's most powerful and spellbinding voices.