Mauritian author Priya Hein is set to publish her debut novel in February 2023. Titled Riambel, the novel will be published by The Indigo Press, an independent publisher of contemporary fiction and non-fiction in the UK.

The publisher’s note describes the novel as a “simple tale of servitude, seduction and abandonment” that protests against the power structures of slavery and colonialism. Riambel depicts a “world of natural enchantment contrasted with violence and the abuse of power, a flawed paradise undergoing slow but unstoppable change.”

Read the full synopsis below:

Fifteen-year-old Noemi has no choice but to leave school and work in the house of the wealthy De Grandbourg family, just across the road from the Mauritian slums where she grew up. She encounters a world that is starkly different from her own – yet one which would have been all too familiar to her ancestors. Bewitched by a pair of green eyes and haunted by echoes, her life begins to mirror those of girls who have gone before her.

Riambel is a beautifully written novel, with fragments of Mauritian recipes, songs and poetry. Readers will definitely sympathize with the main character Noemi who is seduced by a rich, white man, gets caught in the web of social structures, and eventually forced to deal with the consequences alone. Preorder the book to find out what happens to Noemi!

Priya Hein is an award-winning Mauritian writer and has published several children’s books and short stories. Her debut manuscript Riambel won the 2021 Jean Fanchette Prize. She was nominated by the National Library of Mauritius for the 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and was selected for the Women’s Creative Mentorship Project for the University of Iowa International Writing Program.

Congrats to Hein! Riambel will be out February 23, 2023. Preorder here.