Linda Coverdale

Linda Coverdale

Linda Coverdale

Linda Coverdale is an award-winning translator. She has translated many classic works of modern French literature into English. Some of the authors she has translated include Roland Barthes, Emmanuel Carrère, Patrick Chamoiseau, Maryse Condé, Marie Darrieussecq, Annie Ernaux, Hervé Guibert, Sébastien Japrisot, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Philippe Labro, Yann Queffélec, Jorge Semprún, and Patrick Volodine. In 2001, the French government awarded her the title of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres). In 2006 she won the Scott Moncrieff Prize for her translation of A Time for Machetes.

cover image of the book Massacre River

Massacre River

by René Philoctète

Translated by Linda Coverdale

With a contribution by Edwidge Danticat

In 1937 the power-mad racist Generalissimo Trujillo ordered the slaughter of thousands and thousands of Haitians—and, as Philoctète puts it, death set up shop everywhere. At the heart of Massacre River is the loving marriage of the Dominican Pedro and the Haitian Adèle in a little town on the Dominican border. On his way to work, Pedro worries that a massacre is in the making; an olive-drab truck packed with armed soldiers rumbles by. And then the church bells begin to ring, and there is the relentless voice on the radio everywhere, urging the slaughter of all the Haitians. Operation Cabezas Haitianas (Haitian Heads) is underway, the soldiers shout, “Perejil! [Parsley!] Perish! Punish!” Haitians try to pronounce “perejil” correctly, but fail, and weep. The town is in an uproar, Adele is ordered to say “perejil” but stammers. And Pedro runs home and searches for his beloved wife, searches and searches… “The characters of this book not only inspired the love and outrage of an extraordinary writer like Philoctète,” writes Edwidge Danticat, “but continue to challenge the meaning of community and humanity in all of us.”

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