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AfriGeneas Books~Authors~Reviews Forum

Master Of The Crossroads ~ review

A Novel
By Madison Smartt Bell
Pantheon: 732 pp.

[quoting] Madison Smartt Bell's superb novel about the Haitian Revolution weaves between the personal and public lives of its main characters with a consistency that disguises and betrays its grounding in historical sources. This narrative approach will be familiar to readers of Bell's previous book. A finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, "All Souls' Rising" covered the opening years of the Haitian Revolution, beginning in August 1791 with a voodoo-inspired slave revolt in the northern plains of the colony. "Master of the Crossroads," the second book in a planned trilogy, picks up the narrative in the latter half of 1793, just as Toussaint L'Ouverture is beginning to acquire the grass-roots military support that will make him the undisputed leader of the black revolution. Bell has taught historians a thing or two about what it means to have an intimate relationship with the past. Throwing caution to the wind, he has taken up a little-known but hugely important subject with passion and conviction. "Master of the Crossroads" is a labor of love, and the spell of Bell's romance with Haiti is manifest throughout. Malick Ghachem [end quoting]

Source: The Los Amgeles Times

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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