A young girl's curiosity about her teacher's sudden disappearance sets the stage for a resonant analysis of 1960s Pointe-à-Pitre.
Publication Date: 01-09-2018
Translated by Judith G. Miller
This lyrical novel, structured like a Creole quadrille, is a rich ethnography bearing witness to police violence in French Guadeloupe. Narrators both living and dead recount the racial and class stratification that led to a protest-turned-massacre. While Dambury's English debut is a memorial to a largely forgotten atrocity, it is also a celebration of the vibrancy and resilience of Guadeloupeans.
"Dambury’s essential take on the event offers a fresh and personal perspective, incorporating multiple perspectives and a child protagonist without sacrificing nuance, and gives the stage to those too long overlooked in this tragedy." —Publishers Weekly
"A chorus of voices brings humanity to a little-known moment in Caribbean history." —Kirkus Reviews
“Dambury’s important novel seeks to empower Guadeloupe’s oppressed by giving them voices and space to speak for themselves.” —Booklist
“By giving voice to the underrepresented in her society, [Dambury] does her part to bring about a sort of justice—or at least catharsis.” —Asymptote
“A brilliant example of subtlety and sensitivity that brings to life one of the most important dates in Guadeloupe’s history.” —Maryse Condé, author of Segu
“In this restaging of history, constructed as a quadrille, epic rifts of power have tragic consequences, yet Gerty Dambury also celebrates the strengths and joys of a community when its voices speak—and dance—together.” —Thomas C. Spear, Professor of French, CUNY
Interested in reading this book with a group? Download group discussion questions here!