What is Africa’s own “heart of darkness”? It is what confronts Ayané when, after three years abroad, she returns to the Central African village of her birth. Now an “outsider” with foreign ways distrusted by her fellow villagers, she must face alone the customs and superstitions that bind this clan of men and women. When invading militia organize a horrific ceremony that they claim will help reunite Africa, Ayané is forced to confront the monstrosity of the act that follows, as well as the responsibility that all the villagers must bear for silently accepting evil done in their name. Through Ayané’s unwilling witness, Léonora Miano probes the themes of submission and responsibility and questions the role of Africans in the suffering of their fellows. Also exploring African identity, Dark Heart of the Night is a profoundly disturbing novel in its evocation of the darkest side of people driven by their instinct to survive.