Sun of a Distant Land

David Bouchet
Translated by Claire Holden Rothman

Twelve-year-old Souleye has just immigrated to Montreal from Senegal with his family. He wants to become “from here” as quickly as possible, but Canada and Senegal prove to be two completely different worlds, and their new lives don’t unfold as planned. Beyond the daily grind of finding an apartment, schools, and jobs, young Souleye (whose only friend renames him “Soleil” – Sun) has to contend with what it means to be black in a predominantly white society, a foreigner among the locals. And that’s all before his father’s mind begins to fall apart…

Poignantly translated from the French by Claire Holden Rothman, David Bouchet’s Sun of a Distant Land is by turns charming and tragic, an epic contemporary vision of what it means to be uprooted, and what it takes to plant roots in a new land.

Esplanade Books

Read an excerpt


"With its skilled writing, nuanced characterizations, and fascinating discussions of the linguistic and cultural differences between Quebec and Senegal – Bouchet was born in France and raised in Senegal and speaks fluent Wolof – it feels like the kind of novel we need more of." - JC Sutcliffe, Canadian Notes & Queries

“A Sparkling novel.” - Danielle Laurin, Le Devoir

“Although sometimes dark, the novel bursts with tenderness and lucidity, poetry and humour.” -- Valérie Lessard, Le Droit

“The book is dazzling. Through the eyes of a young Senegalese who came to Quebec with his family we discover a world of contradictions and beauty.” –Les Libraires magazine

David Bouchet (Daouda Toubab) is an editor, writer and screenwriter. He spent most of his life in Dakar, Senegal and has lived in Montreal since 2010. Sun of a Distant Landis his first novel.

Claire Holden Rothman is a Montreal fiction writer and translator whose novels include My October(2014) and The Heart Specialist(2009). Her translation of Canada’s first novel, L’influence d’un livre (The Influence of a Book) by Philippe Aubert de Gaspé, won the John Glassco Translation Prize.
Trade paperback
240 pp 7.5" x 5"
ISBN13: 9781550654639

CDN $19.95

ISBN13: 9781550654707

CDN $19.95