All Souls' Rising: A Novel of Haiti (Haitian Revolution by Madison Smartt Bell

By Madison Smartt Bell

During this first installment of his epic Haitian trilogy, Madison Smartt Bell brings to existence a decisive second within the heritage 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 global on the finish of the 1700s. A brutal uprising that strove to overturn a vicious approach of slavery, the rebellion effectively remodeled Haiti from a eu colony to the world’s first Black republic. From the guts of this terrible 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 conflict fueled by liberty and equality.

Bell assembles a kaleidoscopic portrait of this seminal flow via a tableau of characters that surround black, white, male, lady, wealthy, bad, loose and enslaved. Pulsing with superb aspect, All Soul’s Rising presents a visceral feel of the ache, terror, confusion, and triumph of revolution.

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Example text

When he had first ridden up, her eyes had shown only crescents of white, but now the lids pulled farther back and he knew that she was seeing him. The cat-shaped head hung over on her shoulder, twisting the cords of her neck up and out. He could see the big artery bumping slowly there. Her eyes moved, narrowing a little, at their sideways angle. She saw him, but was indifferent to what she saw. The doctor’s tongue passed across his upper lip, once, twice, stiff as a file. He turned in the saddle and looked back into the long allée down which he had come.

It is arranged,” she finally said, turning back to the doctor, who now noticed that her eyes seemed a little bloodshot. “My husband…” Her head swung away as her voice trailed off. She looked out across the compound toward the pole. “Je vous remercie,” Doctor Hébert said. There seemed no place to leave the glass; he stooped and set it on the floor. The horse shook its head as he approached. He took the reins and led it around the back of the grand’case and wandered among the outbuildings until he discovered the stable.

It was markedly cooler outside by this time. Though there was no moon, the sky was clear and so long as he kept away from the torchlight the stars were extraordinarily bright. At the foot of the pole, Arnaud stopped and took the torch from the slave and raised it. From a few feet back, Doctor Hébert saw the woman’s body illuminated as high as her rib cage. There was no evidence of breathing. “Well, it is finished,” Arnaud said. ” With a reluctant sluggishness the two blacks took up the mattocks and began digging at the base of the pole, which the doctor now saw was supported by a packing of rocks and earth.

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