‘Beyond the Horizon’: New book by Seychellois Robert Grandcourt |03 February 2017
‘Writing the book was an eye-opening journey,’ says author
Seychellois Robert Grandcourt has shared his life experiences and the stories of our ancestors in his new book entitled ‘Beyond the Horizon.’
The ceremony to officially launch the book was held this week at the Mayor’s Office in the presence of the Designated Minister Macsuzy Mondon, members of the National Assembly (MNAs), Mayor of Victoria David Andre, family and friends of the author, among other distinguished guests.
The novel is dedicated to the people of Seychelles and the descendants of Yaya, the slave; Genevieve, the idealistic daughter of a sea captain and slave trader; her clandestine lover Alfred and their son Alexandre.
The author has chosen a painting by Michael Adams for the book cover.
Born in 1944, Mr Grandcourt grew up in Praslin and he holds a BA in Economics from Sussex University, a Diploma in Social Studies and MPhil from Oxford University.
The author has worked his way up from a soldier in the British army to a senior economist and principal secretary with the Seychelles government. He was also the executive director of the African Development Bank (ADB) and served as the chief of the African section of Unicef.
Mr Grandcourt is also a fervent advocate of democracy and human rights.
Minister Mondon received a book in a hand-made kapatya by Mr Grancourt on behalf of the President and she also received a copy for herself.
The leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, Wavel Ramkalawan, representatives from the National Library and National Archives also were presented with copies of the new book.
Mr Grandcourt said writing the book was an eye-opening journey that has given him an opportunity to relive and share the joy, pain, motivation and survival strategies of these courageous men and women who ended up on our shores willingly or by force.
Mr Grandcourt encourages each one of us to write and share our story in any form.
“Whether in accurate historical facts, in written anecdotes or as a novel is an important legacy to leave to our family and our nation,” he said.
As the first event organised by the Mayor’s Office, Mr Andre said he is deeply honoured to be given the privilege of launching Mr Grandcourt’s new book.
He said Mr Grancourt is a true son of Seychelles from a humble background.
“It would seem that his motto has always been to go beyond the horizon.
Beyond the horizon lies the dream and story of every Seychellois, of every one of our ancestors, who also braved the seas and landed on our shores and all of us, who have ventured beyond our shores,” Mr Andre said.
Good friends of the author, Roger Mancienne and Dr Maxime Ferrari, who both received advanced copies of the book, had positive reviews.
Mr Mancienne congratulated Mr Grancourt on this achievement which tells the story of two women, with the early history of Seychelles.
“This achievement also means many hours of hard work and dedication,” he said.
Dr Ferrari said, “This is an excellent historical novel that I would recommend everybody to read as it will bring much pleasure.”
The book which costs R325 is available at Antigone and other book shops.