By Madison Smartt Bell
During this first installment of his epic Haitian trilogy, Madison Smartt Bell brings to lifestyles a decisive second within the historical past of race, category, and colonialism. The slave rebellion in Haiti was once a momentous contribution to the tide of revolution that swept over the Western international on the finish of the 1700s. A brutal uprising that strove to overturn a vicious process of slavery, the rebellion effectively remodeled Haiti from a eu colony to the world’s first Black republic. From the guts of this awful maelstrom, the heroic determine of Toussaint Louverture–a dependable, literate slave and both a religious Catholic and Vodouisant–emerges because the guy who will take the cruel fires of violence and vengeance and forge a innovative struggle fueled by liberty and equality.
Bell assembles a kaleidoscopic portrait of this seminal circulation via a tableau of characters that surround black, white, male, girl, wealthy, bad, loose and enslaved. Pulsing with amazing aspect, All Soul’s Rising presents a visceral experience of the discomfort, terror, confusion, and triumph of revolution.
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Extra info for All Souls' Rising: A Novel of Haiti (Haitian Revolution Trilogy, Book 1)
In part because absentee ownership was so common, abuses and cruelty were much more frequent and severe in Saint Domingue than in the southern United States or in most other slaveholding societies. Through suicide, infanticide, abortion, starvation, neglect, overwork, and murder, the black slaves of Saint Domingue died off at a much faster rate than they could replace themselves by new births. It was necessary for the proprietors to import twenty thousand fresh slaves from Africa annually in order to maintain the workforce at a constant level.
Still, there was a sort of slyness in that smile. His lips were full and heavy, his teeth long and yellow; he lacked an eyetooth on the left side. The jaw long and slung far forward, stretching and lowering the deep oval of his face. His nose was long also and typically flat, but his forehead was high and his eyes, with their yellowing whites, were large and expressive—his best feature. All in all, a most arresting ugliness. He was smaller than I somehow had expected, standing no higher than my breastbone.
The remainder of the night he slept without stirring, and woke automatically just at first light. He dressed quickly and quietly, lifted his saddlebags and passed through the main room, which seemed dim and dingy at this hour. There was no sign that anyone else had awakened within. Outdoors the compound was also deserted, except for a pair of chickens picking gravel around the back, but the dog began barking when he passed its shed. The doctor’s temples tightened at the sound. In the stall the horse was nosing at the last scatter of a flake of hay.
All Souls' Rising: A Novel of Haiti (Haitian Revolution Trilogy, Book 1) by Madison Smartt Bell