Hadriana in All My Dreams (Paperback)

Hadriana in All My Dreams By René Depestre, Edwidge Danticat (Foreword by), Kaiama L. Glover (Translated by) Cover Image
By René Depestre, Edwidge Danticat (Foreword by), Kaiama L. Glover (Translated by)
$18.95

Description


Legendary Haitian author Depestre combines magic, fantasy, eroticism, and delirious humor to explore universal questions of race and sexuality.


“One-of-a-kind . . . [A] ribald, free-wheeling magical-realist novel, first published in 1988 and newly, engagingly translated by Glover . . . An icon of Haitian literature serves up a hotblooded, rib-ticking, warmhearted mélange of ghost story, cultural inquiry, folk art, and véritable l’amour.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review


“An exceptional novel . . . Depestre’s masterpiece and one of the greatest examples of Haitian literature.” —New York Journal of Books


Hadriana in All My Dreams, winner of the prestigious Prix Renaudot, takes place primarily during Carnival in 1938 in the Haitian village of Jacmel. A beautiful young French woman, Hadriana, is about to marry a Haitian boy from a prominent family. But on the morning of the wedding, Hadriana drinks a mysterious potion and collapses at the altar. Transformed into a zombie, her wedding becomes her funeral. She is buried by the town, revived by an evil sorcerer, then disappears into popular legend.


Set against a backdrop of magic and eroticism, and recounted with delirious humor, the novel raises universal questions about race and sexuality. The reader comes away enchanted by the marvelous reality of Haiti’s Vodou culture and convinced of Depestre’s lusty claim that all beings—even the undead ones—have a right to happiness and true love.



About the Author


René Depestre, born in 1926, is one of the most important voices of Haitian literature. A peer of seminal figures like Aimé Césaire, Pablo Neruda, and André Breton, Depestre has engaged with the politics/aesthetics of negritude, social realism, and surrealism for more than half a century. Having lived through significant moments in Haitian and New World history—from the overthrow of Haitian dictator Élie Lescot in 1946, to the first Congress of Black Writers and Artists in Paris in 1956, to a struggle with Haiti’s François “Papa Doc” Duvalier in 1957, to a collaboration with Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara and a fraught relationship with Fidel Castro in the 1960s and ’70s—Depestre is uniquely positioned to reflect on the extent to which the Americas and Europe are implicated in Haiti’s past and present. He is the author of Hadriana in All My Dreams.

EDWIDGE DANTICAT was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when she was twelve. She is the editor of Haiti Noir, Haiti Noir 2: The Classics, and the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory (an Oprah’s Book Club selection), Krik? Krak! (a National Book Award finalist), The Farming of Bones (an American Book Award winner), and the novel-in-stories The Dew Breaker. She has also written several young adult novels and a travel narrative, After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel. Her memoir, Brother, I’m Dying, was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2007 winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She is a 2009 recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant.

Kaiama L. Glover is an associate professor of French and Africana Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University. She is the author of Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon, coeditor of Yale French Studies' Revisiting Marie Vieux-Chauvet: Paradoxes of Postcolonial Feminine (issue no. 128), and translator of René Depestre's Hadriana in All My Dreams, Frenkétienne's Ready to Burst, and Marie Vieux-Chauvet's Dance on the Volcano. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and the Fulbright Foundation.

Praise For…


The sights and sounds of Haiti’s vibrant carnival season invigorate this tale of vodou and Haitian culture . . . The truth of Hadriana’s fate proves more poignant than horrifying, but in Depestre’s hands, this incident is a touchstone of a culture in which distinctions between the empirical and spiritual are obscured, and whose traditional celebrations and beliefs introduce an element of the mythic into the everyday. Eroticism and humor course through his narrative. Depestre’s intimacy with his subject matter and his familiarity with the people he portrays—the story is set in his hometown, at the time when he was 12 years old—give readers an insider’s look at Jacmelian culture.
— Publishers Weekly

It would take a long time to unwrap the many layers of metaphor in this ribald and colorful yet strangely haunting novel, written by a son of Haiti who was born in the seaside town of Jacmel, the very setting he so vividly describes here . . . By contrasting Haitian vodou with traditional Christianity, and pitting color and class lines against each other, Depestre presents a rich and nuanced exploration of large and significant themes expertly couched in one fantastical, expertly translated tale.
— Booklist, Starred Review

The story is beautifully written in lyrical prose . . . Readers interested in Haitian culture will appreciate this novel and will enjoy Depestre’s details about the voodoo culture as it was understood in the first half of the 20th century.
— Historical Novels Review

You do not need to believe in zombies or Vodou to be carried away by this story—a metaphor for all forms of dispossession . . . René Depestre has gone beyond nostalgia to write a sumptuous love story.
— Le Monde

The most important thing a work-in-translation can offer a reader [is] perspective on a place, people, and language we don’t immediately have access to, or one that runs counter to conventional, cliché narratives. Glover’s book does that in aces.
— Words Without Borders
Product Details
ISBN: 9781617755330
ISBN-10: 1617755338
Publisher: Akashic Books, Ltd.
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017
Pages: 160
Language: English