paper 0-8139-1890-1 General Sun, My Brother ($69.50; paper $19.95; Dec. 10; 352 pp.; 0-8139-1889-8; paper 0-8139-1890-1):...

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"GENERAL SUN, MY BROTHER"

paper 0-8139-1890-1 General Sun, My Brother ($69.50; paper $19.95; Dec. 10; 352 pp.; 0-8139-1889-8; paper 0-8139-1890-1): The first English translation of a famous Haitian novel (written in French and first published in 1955) that details the sufferings of those Haitians who work as sugarcane cutters in the Dominican Republic and endure the infamous 1937 massacre of striking Haitian workers by dictator Trujillo's Soldiers (an event that was also the inspiration for Edwidge Danticat's recent The Farming of Bones). Alexis subjects his protagonist Hilarion to an annoying overabundance of Marxist indoctrination, but both Hilarion and his wife, Claire-Heureuse, are wonderfully well-rounded characters, and the story is steeped in the details of Haiti's peasant culture as well as its rich overlay of anthropomorphism, supernaturalism, and myth. Absorbing and deeply satisfying fiction, suggesting that its late author (1922—61), who wrote several other novels, is someone eminently worthy of being rediscovered.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 1999

ISBN: 0813918901

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Univ. Press of Virginia

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999