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Agõtĩme: Her Legend
The story of 19th-century West African Agotime, the daughter of a Mall priest, captured by the King of Dahomey and made one of his queens. Their son is chosen by the oracles as successor, but upon the king's death he flees into the jungle and Agotime is sold into slavery. Before she leaves, Agotime consults the voodoo priest, who insinuates a special destiny for her, soon ...more
Paperback, 303 pages
Published September 24th 1970 by Viking Press
(first published 1970)
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A lyrical mix of West African folklore, New World historical fact and one of the more hallucinatory renderings of the Middle Passage that I've ever come across. Gleason's prose is sometime lush to a fault. Long sections of exposition are so mired in poetry that simply going from one town to the next can be a near impenetrable proposition. Whether this stylistic device is intentionally evocative of 18th century Dahomey or early 19th century Brazil or 20th century post-colonial theory, I honestly ...more
Jan 01, 2011 Asma rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
Recommended to Asma by: Marieke
This is the story of Agõtĩme, a Dahomean queen, who became part of the exodus of slaves from West Africa to Brazil. She is a historical figure, a legend, as well as this book's main character. Part I recounts the real country of Dahomey (modern-day Benin)--the intertwined royal heritage, religious cult of Water Spirit vodũ, and divination system of Fa. One of many wives of the former king, Agõtĩme is not the new king's favorite, being outspoken and independent, and consequently becomes part of t ...more