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Texaco
Patrick Chamoiseau
0679751750
February 1998
Paperback
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Book Review
In Texaco, Patrick Chamoiseau is not scared of reimagining history in order to illuminate an essential truth about his homeland, Martinique. Through his narrator, Marie-Sophie Laborieux, a daughter of slaves, he chronicles 150 years in the history of Martinique, starting with the birth of Marie-Sophie's beloved father, Esternome, on a sugar plantation sometime in the early 19th century. It ends with her founding Texaco, a shanty town built on the grounds of an old oil refinery on the outskirts of Fort-de-France. What happens in-between is an astounding flight of imagination and language that rivals the works of Salman Rushdie, Ben Okri and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Chamoiseau begins in the present with the arrival of an urban planner, whom the residents of Texaco mistake for Christ. It then spins back in time to the birth...


Childhood
Patrick Chamoiseau
0803214871
February 1999
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Novelist Chamoiseau's second memoir (after School Days) evokes his early childhood, beginning with the rainy night his mother (whom he refers to as the Prime Confidante) walked to the midwife's house to give birth to him, an incident he claims is responsible for his "melancholic weakness for rainy weather." The book is divided into two sections, "Feeling" and "Leaving," both prompted by the author's meditations on his life in Fort-de-France, Martinique. Chamoiseau leads the reader into "the bewitching period" of his childhood, describing it with the doting subjectivity of an older, more mature relative who refers to the child he was as "the little boy." This boy, who was fascinated with torturing insects and rats, found more creative ways to spend his time after a "city storyteller" exposed him to "the...


Childhood
Patrick Chamoiseau
0803263821
February 1999
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Novelist Chamoiseau's second memoir (after School Days) evokes his early childhood, beginning with the rainy night his mother (whom he refers to as the Prime Confidante) walked to the midwife's house to give birth to him, an incident he claims is responsible for his "melancholic weakness for rainy weather." The book is divided into two sections, "Feeling" and "Leaving," both prompted by the author's meditations on his life in Fort-de-France, Martinique. Chamoiseau leads the reader into "the bewitching period" of his childhood, describing it with the doting subjectivity of an older, more mature relative who refers to the child he was as "the little boy." This boy, who was fascinated with torturing insects and rats, found more creative ways to spend his time after a "city storyteller" exposed him to "the...


School Days
Patrick Chamoiseau
0803214774
Mar 1997
Hardcover
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Book Review
Martinican author Patrick Chamoiseau has long been a proponent of "Creolity," a literary movement that seeks to preserve the character of Creole language and culture against the threat of assimilation into French ways of speaking and thinking. In School Days, the author transports us back to his childhood, providing a context for the artistic and personal choices he has made as an adult. The lines are clearly drawn early on in this memoir; young Chamoiseau's teacher, a black Martinican who has adopted both the language and the attitudes of France, is contrasted with the rich cultural and linguistic traditions that thrive outside the school. At school, Teacher lectures on Alexander, Napoleon, the superiority of Western civilization; European fairy-tales about Cinderella and Merlin dominate the classroom while out on the...


Creole Folktales
Patrick Chamoiseau
1565843967
September 1997
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
The 1992 winner of France's Goncourt Prize brilliantly retells 12 tales from his home island of Martinique in his first book to be published in the U.S. Included are delightfully coarse and lively folktales incorporating European and African motifs and stories apparently handed down from the time of slavery. In one, "Ti-Jean Horizon," the eponymous hero repeatedly outwits his Beke (white) master, as does Conquering John in African American tales. Others warn of the danger of foolish behavior, as in "Nanie-Rosette the Belly-Slave," of whom the storyteller remarks "Quite a pretty name for a disaster with an abyss for a stomach, a riverbed for a throat... In short, Nanie-Rosette loved to eat, oh yes." Her gluttony leads to her downfall at the hands of a devil. The lyric language here is often bawdy, even in a...


Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories
Stewart Brown (Editor)
0192802291
July 1999
Textbook Paperback
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From Library Journal
This comprehensive collection by 51 20th-century Caribbean writers is as rich and diverse as the cultures and authors who created them. From Cuba and Haiti to Colombia and Guyana, these stories combine a unique sense of place with universal themes. World-renowned authors like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and V. S. Naipaul are included alongside prominent Caribbean authors Patrick Chamoiseau and Juan Bosch and relative newcomers Edwidge Danticat and Alicia McKenzie. While the majority of pieces portray the area's ties to England and the United States, translations from Spanish, French, and Dutch illustrate that there is not one Caribbean culture or literature, but many. While the stories stand well on their own, the editors' organization, introduction, and bibliography provide valuable historical and literary background....


School Days
Patrick Chamoiseau
0803263767
March 1997
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Martinican author Patrick Chamoiseau has long been a proponent of "Creolity," a literary movement that seeks to preserve the character of Creole language and culture against the threat of assimilation into French ways of speaking and thinking. In School Days, the author transports us back to his childhood, providing a context for the artistic and personal choices he has made as an adult. The lines are clearly drawn early on in this memoir; young Chamoiseau's teacher, a black Martinican who has adopted both the language and the attitudes of France, is contrasted with the rich cultural and linguistic traditions that thrive outside the school. At school, Teacher lectures on Alexander, Napoleon, the superiority of Western civilization; European fairy-tales about Cinderella and Merlin dominate the classroom while out on the...


Chronicle of the Seven Sorrows
Patrick Chamoiseau
0803214952
September 1999
Hardcover
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Book Review
Pity the poor translator who has to grapple with Martinican writer Patrick Chamoiseau's playful and imaginative mélange of formal French and Caribbean Creole--but envy the lucky reader who gets to enjoy his tasty gumbo, Chronicle of the Seven Sorrows. First published in France in 1987, Chamoiseau's debut novel is reminiscent of the work of Gabriel García Márquez and Salman Rushdie in its wild tumbling cataracts of language, its host of characters, and its freewheeling use of magical realism. Consider, for example, the origins of protagonist Pierre Philomene "Pipi" Soleil: That evening, Héloïse went to bed a virgin for the last time, because meanwhile, black Phosphore had revealed to his sorrowing son the Method he'd learned from a sepulcher, and had turned him into a dorlis....


Chronicle of the Seven Sorrows
Patrick Chamoiseau
0803264267
May 2003
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Pity the poor translator who has to grapple with Martinican writer Patrick Chamoiseau's playful and imaginative mélange of formal French and Caribbean Creole--but envy the lucky reader who gets to enjoy his tasty gumbo, Chronicle of the Seven Sorrows. First published in France in 1987, Chamoiseau's debut novel is reminiscent of the work of Gabriel García Márquez and Salman Rushdie in its wild tumbling cataracts of language, its host of characters, and its freewheeling use of magical realism. Consider, for example, the origins of protagonist Pierre Philomene "Pipi" Soleil: That evening, Héloïse went to bed a virgin for the last time, because meanwhile, black Phosphore had revealed to his sorrowing son the Method he'd learned from a sepulcher, and had turned him into a dorlis....


Solibo Magnificent
Patrick Chamoiseau
0679751769
March 1999
Paperback
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Book Review
When Patrick Chamoiseau, Martinican author of the brilliant, magical novel Texaco, turns his hand to writing a police procedural, you can be sure that the "usual suspects" won't be usual at all. In Solibo Magnificent the title character, a master storyteller, dies on the first page, having uttered the mysterious phrase patat'-si ("this potato"). Though it is evident to his Creole audience that Solibo's throat was "snickt by the Word," to the Fort-de-France police department it's a clear case of murder. Before you can say patat'-si, all the witnesses are in custody, where they are brutally mistreated in an attempt to wrest confessions from them.

The first thing any reader notices about a Chamoiseau novel is the language (beautifully translated from the French by Rose-Myriam Réjouis...



French Cultural Studies: Criticism at the Crossroads
Marie-Pierre Le Hir (Editor)
0791445860
June 2000
Paperback
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Book Description
Addresses the theoretical and pedagogical implications of redefining French Studies as an interdisciplinary field, while providing practical examples of the kind of criticism that such a shift would entail. French Cultural Studies provides a theoretical framework for reconsidering the domain of knowledge and expertise traditionally associated with the discipline of French. The contributors accompany their analysis of a wide variety of topics in French and Francophone Studies with a spirit of critical self-awareness that continually challenges traditional disciplinary boundaries. Ranging from a reevaluation of Baudelaire's poetic interlude in the Mascarene Islands to a discussion of Patrick Chamoiseau's fictional blueprint for Caribbean resistance, these essays address the theoretical and pedagogical implications of...

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