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In the Flicker of an Eyelid

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  51 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
In his third novel, Jacques Stephen Alexis brings his characteristically vivid scenes, political consciousness, and powerful characters to the dramatic age-old question of whether a prostitute can leave "the life" to find her own identity and true love. La Nina Estrellita is pursuing her trade against the colorful backdrop of Holy Week 1948 in Port-au-Prince. Amid the rowd ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 29th 2002 by University of Virginia Press (first published 1959)
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Feb 14, 2016 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: france, fiction, caribbean
This is a difficult book to review because it deals intimately with the subject of passionate love, between the prostitute La Nina Estrellita and the longshoreman El Caucho. About three quarters of the book is about the long slow dance by which the two get to know and finally accept each other.

The author, Jacques Stephen Alexis was murdered by the Ton Ton Macoute when he returned to Haiti in 1959, fresh from participating in the Cuban Revolution of Fidel Castro. In the Flicker of an Eyelid was t
Kelsey Lancraft
Sep 01, 2010 Kelsey Lancraft rated it really liked it
This book is an excellent example of Caribbean literature, written by the Haitian novelist, Jacques Stephen Alexis. It takes place in Haiti, telling the doomed love story of La Nina, a prostitute weary of the world, and El Caucho, an "everyman" worker. They almost reluctantly fall in love, fall head over heels for each other, as each is unsure of how to react to this new feeling. What was most impressive about this book was the intense imagery. Each chapter is titled after the five senses, inclu ...more
Jan 30, 2016 Horvallis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: caraïbes
Une passion au temps de la Passion, où la vie et les mystères de l'amour tels qu'appréhendés par les six sens dans une Haïti bouillonnante de vie et de misère.
La poésie y absout le trivial et l'esprit y enrobe la chair. Là où règne un humanisme lumineux et transcendant, par delà le bien et le mal, les personnages prennent vie sous la plume incandescente et éblouissante de Jacques Stephen Alexis.
Le réalisme merveilleux dans toute sa splendeur baroque.
Alysyn Reinhardt
Dec 09, 2014 Alysyn Reinhardt rated it liked it
Jacques Stéphen Alexis was certainly an excellent writer. His prose is as thorough as it is consistent. In his third novel he tells the love at first sight (sort of) story of La Nina & El Caucho. The majority of the novel shows La Nina's struggles to reconcile her past memories, which are starting to come back, with her future as a prostitute. El Caucho's character becomes more developed as well as his past is revealed. Full review available on
Oct 05, 2009 Michele rated it liked it
This has been a long slog, although the second half was more accessible than the first. It came together at the end. Interesting to compare La Nina Estrellita to Haiti or the Caribbean itself. I am looking forward to hearing what my book club thought of it. They are all Latin Americanists, so they should have some good insights.
Tania Odesho
Nov 30, 2013 Tania Odesho rated it it was amazing
Sensuality, marxism, and revolutionary discourse never got so sexy till this book. Although its heteronormativity and sexist ideologies are apparent, i do still think its a beautiful book worth reading, analyzing, etc.
Sep 14, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
A bit slow, but the imagery is just beautiful.
Lisa Huang
Nov 22, 2014 Lisa Huang rated it it was amazing
A book that I did not enjoy at first but grew to begrudgingly love. It really explores the complications of how difficult it can be to allow one's self to open up their heart again.
Feb 14, 2013 Kym rated it it was amazing
Interesting read. Focus is on the female character who is a prostitute.
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