School Days
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School Days

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  14 reviews
School Days (Chemin-d’Ecole) is a captivating narrative based on Patrick Chamoiseau’s childhood in Fort-de-France, Martinique. It is a revelatory account of the colonial world that shaped one of the liveliest and most creative voices in French and Caribbean literature today.Through the eyes of the boy Chamoiseau, we meet his severe, Francophile teacher, a man intent upon b...more
Hardcover, 146 pages
Published March 1st 1997 by University of Nebraska Press (first published 1994)
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Patrick Chamoiseau (1953-) is a renowned and innovative Francophone author from Martinique, who uses a combination of French and Creole in his novels and short stories and writes extensively about Creole culture (créolité). He is best known for his novel Texaco, which won the Prix Goncourt in 1992.

School Days (Chemin d'école) is narrated by a Martiniquan boy (perhaps a younger version of Chamoiseau?) who is the youngest of his family's four children. He sees his brothers and sister go off to sch...more
Heartbreaking, evocative, and thoughtful memoir of how one loses their culture and identity, slowly but surely because of imperialist ideals. At the same time, its a very surreal tale of childhood, and its typical trials.
Chris Hearn
Like Cesaire, Chamoiseau hails from the French colony Martinique, and I suppose this text could be read as a late (or 'post') example of the Negritude movement. Translated from a mixture of high French and street-level Creole, Chamoiseau places equal focus in this work upon:

a) a linguistic examination between the dying Creole dialect and oppressive yet glorified French tongue,
b) the use of highly poetic experimental writing styles,
c) and a narrative of a poor young boy living an essentially sl...more
Jim B
Generally I do not enjoy books in translation. I could tell that this book was creatively written, but since the thing I most enjoy is a book with a strong plot and strong characters, I didn't enjoy this book as much as others I have read. I understand how the author was innovative with the chorus of voices that respond to what he is saying, but being unfamiliar with how that fit his culture or why they said what they did, I couldn't relate.

The book is autobiographical, and an interesting way of...more
This exploration of school, culture, language and colonialism starts off amazingly. The portrait of the little boy and how he views the world around him is crafted so meticulously and beautifully in the first part of the book by author, Chamoiseau that I was excited to see where he was going to take me. Oddly however and, from my pov, jarringly the narrative speeds up in pace over the the last section like the author got tired of telling the story and was just rushing to wrap it up. The book dre...more
Petit tome plus doux qu'amère; souvenirs d'un écolier créole entre sa langue de 'Manman' et ses premiers pas dans une école coloniale sous la houlette d'un Maître qui s'applique énergiquement d'aprrrrendrrrre le vrrrrrrai frrrrrançais aux ti-personnes, dont le petit Chamoiseau et son camarade Gros-Lombric.
Un certain charme.
The translation made it overly complicated to read and understand the culture of 'Les Repondeurs' which are present throughout the book. It is a great historical reference point for studying the Colonial period of France.
Laurel Kane
Such a delightful little book - at once funny and carefree, but at the same time has so much to say about colonialism, racism, losing (and finding again) the ability to love to learn.
Did part of my thesis on this, so if you really want to dive into it, there is alot there. For the casual read though, unless your into Creole culture, might not enjoy it as much.
Mark Sullivan
This was colourfully written, but I found it tough to get through. Maybe a bit more knowledge of the Creole culture would have helped my understanding and enjoyment of it.
i can't tell if i really liked this book, or if i was just so excited to read something with narrative and dialog that i overreacted.
Sarah Sammis
I remember liking it but most of the details escape me now. :/
Lauren Sankus
Love, love, love it! Such a sweet book!
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