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Babouk: Voices of Resistance

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  30 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Loosely based on the Haitian slave insurrection of 1791, Babouk is a biting account of colonialism at its peak. By using the imagination of the novelist to fill in the gaps in the historical record, Endore is able to show us how slavery felt to the slaves who experienced it. His novel is rare for its depiction of the shared history of the slaves and its attention to the va ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 1st 1991 by Monthly Review Press
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HC
Apr 13, 2008 HC rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english-ma
A graphic, honest, highly-politicized (naturally) slave narrative set in West Africa and later Haiti, based in part on actual events, sprinkled with sarcastic and snide remarks condemning those who continue to foster the same prejudices in the author's time (1930s). Violent and disturbing but very well-done and worth the read. Too bad no one seems to know it exists.
Naeem
If you want to understand the Haitian revolution from the inside, read this extraordinary slave narrative.

Avoid the introduction by Jamaica Kincaid until you have finished the novel and the afterword by Michel Rolph-Trouillot.

What amazes here is deft story telling -- steeped in three years of research; his experiments with form; and his ability to hone in on the wound. I have read no other book like this.

Compare to the first 50 pages of C.L.R. James's The Black Jacobins.
Shawn
May 16, 2014 Shawn rated it it was amazing
This is a historical fiction spanning the time from Babouk’s capture in Africa until the Haitian Revolution, which occurred near the end of the 18th Century. This is a very shocking account of the obscenity of slavery, transmitted in the form of a mesmerizing novel.

The author, Guy Endore (1901-1970) is a graduate of Columbia University who wrote many film scripts, as well as biographical novels of Voltaire, Joan of Arc, and Alexandre Dumas. However, in the McCarthyism of the 1950’s, Endore was
...more
Jose Palafox
Jan 15, 2010 Jose Palafox marked it as to-read
from Monthly Review Press:

"During the eighteenth century, hundreds of thousands of Africans were rounded up and packed onto boats headed for the French colony of Haiti, then called Saint-Domingue. Exposed to disease, hunger, and abuse, their only protection against death was their value as property. Thousands died before reaching Haiti, and thousands more died from the harsh conditions of labor on the sugar plantations.

A born storyteller and philosopher, Babouk is one of the very few slaves abl
...more
James Bunnelle
Jun 10, 2014 James Bunnelle rated it it was amazing
BABOUK is one of the most important social justice novels written by a white person in the 20th century. Its author, Guy Endore, believed in Socialism, was a champion of the weak, and merged his activism with his art. In both THE WEREWOLF OF PARIS (1933) and BABOUK (1934), he used genre to address racism and capitalist violence. This makes him unpopular, then and now, because the Academy, despite its leftist veneer, hates activism and activist writers. So BABOUK vanished. It continues to vanish. ...more
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Samuel Guy Endore (4 July 1900 - 12 February 1970), born Samuel Goldstein and also known as Harry Relis, was a novelist and screenwriter. During his career he produced a wide array of novels, screenplays, and pamphlets, both published and unpublished. A cult favorite of fans of horror, he is best known for his novel The Werewolf of Paris which occupies a significant position in werewolf literature ...more
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