This virtuosic translation [of René Philoctète], by Linda Coverdale, is his first into English.
The Literary Review

By the acclaimed Haitian poet and scholar René Philoctète, the novel Massacre River: a tour de force by an extraordinary writer (Edwidge Danticat).

Massacre River

Fiction 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.”

Editions: PaperbackClothbound

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Paperback (published May 1, 2008)

ISBN
9780811217255
Price US
13.95
Price CN
16
Trim Size
5x7
Page Count
240

Clothbound (published May 1, 2008)

ISBN
9780811215855
Price US
22.95
Trim Size
5x7
Page Count
240

René Philoctète

20th Century Haitian writer

This virtuosic translation [of René Philoctète], by Linda Coverdale, is his first into English.
The Literary Review
The Haitian writer par excellence.
—Lyonel Trouillot
René Philoctète's Massacre River is a hair-raising roller-coaster ride, a feat of literary prestidigitation, a moving and enduring work by one of Haiti's under-recognized master writers.
—Madison Smartt Bell