DINING WITH THE DICTATOR by Dany Laferrière

DINING WITH THE DICTATOR

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 This nostalgic look at a weekend in Haiti will satisfy anyone obsessed with the sexual politics of teenage girls, but it only skims the surface of its deeper subject, a boy's rite of passage. Laferriäre (How to Make Love to a Negro, not reviewed) begins his novel with a sort of apology: ``Excuse me for saying it here, but only women have counted for me.'' In this obviously autobiographical portrait, a 39-year-old Miami writer gets a phone call from an old friend that recalls 25-year-old memories of his hometown, Port-au-Prince. Laferriäre presents the story in the form of a film, divided into scenes, about his protagonist's friendship with a ruffian named GÇgÇ, who quickly transforms his buddy from an exemplary son into a delinquent who hangs out in the red-light district. After attracting unwanted attention from a local ``shark'' (hoodlum), the narrator goes into hiding at a neighbor's house--which also happens to contain six nubile nymphettes. He eyeballs Choupette, who sleeps with a married man named Papa; Pasqualine, who likes to parade around half-dressed; Marie-Michäle, who's in her second year of medical school and complains about her friends being bitches; Marie-Flore, who places the narrator's hand between her legs yelling, ``My vagina says, corruption!''; Marie-Erna, who breaks into uncontrollable sobs every time she laughs; and Miki, the only one with any class. After two days of blissful chaos, he discovers he's not wanted at all and returns to his mother's home a changed man. (See also the review in this issue of Laferriäre's nonfiction work, Why Must a Black Writer Write About Sex?, p. 1336.) Voyeurism only goes so far.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-88910-480-8
Page count: 210pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1994




MORE BY DANY LAFERRIÈRE

NonfictionTHE WORLD IS MOVING AROUND ME by Dany Laferrière
by Dany Laferrière
NonfictionWHY MUST A BLACK WRITER WRITE ABOUT SEX? by Dany Laferrière
by Dany Laferrière