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L'île des rêves écrasés (Littératures du Pacifique)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  128 ratings  ·  25 reviews
L’île des rêves écrasés met en scène ce malaise omniprésent qui déchire la Polynésie française d’aujourd’hui. Si son écriture semble agressive, c’est à une histoire d’amour que l’auteur nous convie.  La publication en 1991 de L’île des rêves écrasés a suscité de nombreuses réactions dans la société tahitienne, variant des félicitations les plus élogieuses aux condamnations ...more
Kindle Edition, 209 pages
Published July 3rd 2013 by Au vent des îles (first published 1991)
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ETA: The more I think about this book, the more it sticks with me. I'm upping it to 4.5 stars.

As I regularly say to my students, "look past the horrible cover, because you can't see the horrible cover when you're reading the book, and the book is great."

The writing in this book is absolutely beautiful. It's very poetic, with Indigenous Tahitian culture shining through. The importance of a connection to country is evident throughout the story, and the amount of criticism that's heaped on French
Jun 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chantal Spitz holds the honor of being the first indigenous Tahitian writer to publish a novel: The Island of Shattered Dreams. What makes her novel even more monumental, however, is the story it tells of nuclear testing in French Polynesia, and of the ensuing degradation and displacement of indigenous land and bodies. In 1991, when it was first published, these stories of colonization just began to be told through the eyes of the colonized, whereas before the colonizers controlled the narrative ...more
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, lava, scribd
Wow, this book blows my mind. Firstly, it is the translated work of a Ma ōhi female writer detailing the history and current status on a Polynesian island. But this is done in less than 200 pages. And it was enough to tell her story. And enough to make you want more.

We live in an age when #ownvoices and reading marginalized people and cultures is seen as essential. Everyone touts the well written works and I’m joining with this work. Somehow the author writes in a minimalistic way but it is yet
4.5 This is a beautiful, soulful book. The family story unfolds slowly, but in a very short space the author conveys a remarkably clear picture of the indigenous Ma'ohi life and culture in French Polynesia pre-WWII and how this community was affected by French colonization. It is both political and moving. ...more
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-school, poc
a powerful book and one that resists simple explanation/interpretation
This book completely and utterly blew my mind. It traces the stories three generations of a Mā’ohi family from Tahiti, and how all three generations were affected by colonization and the commodification of the labor of indigenous people.

It talks about three relationships, all of whom involve people who you'd think are an opposite sides of political or social spectra:
- Toofa, a Mā’ohi woman who falls in love with a French plantation owner
- Their Emere, who struggles with being biracial, and Tema
First and foremost: I loved this book. Seriously. It's one of my favorites of the year. I read it practically in a single sitting and felt like I was devouring the book whole, in the best possible way.

Island of Shattered Dreams by Chantal T. Spitz and translated from French by Jean Anderson is genuinely one of those books I just want to shove into the hands of as many readers as possible. And why shouldn't I be able to? Alas, this is not a particularly well-known work and Spitz is not a particul
Ooooh, I really wanted to like this book so much, but unfortunately, it just wasn't for me.

First, I want to say that I really appreciated the time Spitz took in crafting the language in this piece, for it was beautifully written and I enjoyed how mythology was interwoven throughout the story. Overall, structurally, this was a great effort to condense a large story into a small book. Spitz is at her strongest when she delves into Tahitian history, the devastation of colonization, and voices of th
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Island of Shattered Dreams follows three generations of a Ma'ohi family, starting in the early days of colonisation and ending with the launch of a nuclear test under De Gaulle.

The language is simple but beautiful, laced with poignant similes, metaphor, and poetic insertions. The story as such is of secondary importance, and the author's voice dominates throughout. It creates the impression of a tale being told round a campfire, where the storyteller is not so much interested in developing a plo
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what to expect when I got to this book but I really loved it!

No wonder it caused so much trouble when it came out from how critical it is of colonizers, but its always beautiful to me to hear the stories of those who have been oppressed and fully understand stories that have been white washed for ages.

The Ma'ohi people's way of expressing themselves is so amazing! I was in awe but how deep it is seethed in action rather that words.
Laura Rasmussen
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-bingo-2020
This novel was the first by a native of French Polynesia. It tells the story of the destruction of the native people’s way of life brought about by colonialism culminating in the novel with the building of nuclear missile base on the fictional island of Ruahine.

The story is moving and sad, despite some of the language being stilted (translation issues?).
Leslie Ann
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Decent read for my AtW challenge: Territories (French Polynesia/Tahiti). This novella reads more like a fable: poetic prose, not especially deep characters.
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
cried quite a lot and i won’t be forgetting this story any time soon
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves
Constantly in awe of Spitz's beautiful writing. ...more
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very poetic and mythic. A look at the effects of colonialism on the people of Tahiti.
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Tematua grows up in the 1920s and 1930s, life on the Tahitian island of Ruahine is still slow-paced, peaceful and in unison with nature as it always used to be, while in the far-away capital where the illegitimate daughter of a Tahitian teacher and an Englishman called Emere lives people enjoy the amenities of French life. During World War II Tematua and others fight in Europe, but he returns unharmed from the traumatising adventure. Later he meets Emere whose father offers her land on Ruah ...more
The story centers on three relationships--that of Toofa, a Maohi woman who falls in love with a French plantation owner in the 19th century; their daughter Emere/Emily, who struggles with her mixed-race status until she falls in love with Tematua, a man raised in full appreciation of his Maohi heritage; and Emere and Tematua's son, Terii, an anti-colonial activist who embarks on an affair with Laura, a French nuclear scientist. It should be an interesting exploration of the intersection of race, ...more
Sep 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mac-library
A Pacific Islander perspective full of connecteness with the land, sea, and the elements. Beautiful speeches. Outstanding description of love.
An interesting analyse of tradition and transition to so-called progress. Memorable.
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The reader is brought to a story of life, love, and tragic ends. It is a beautiful tale of those protecting their land only to be drowned in the world encroaching around them. Loved to the bitter end, this story will bring a tear to your eye and be remembered in your heart.
Dec 30, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend. This novel was beautiful and really offered insight into Tahitian culture. This novel gave agency and a voice to a peoples whose narrative maybe not be known by the greater masses.
Christian (SaItsCreative)
Absolutely loved!
L'île des rêves écrasés ...more
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Alex Nguyen
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Via De Fant
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Chay Coloma
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Mar 19, 2015
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Mar 26, 2017
Jana Smith
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Feb 18, 2017
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The skill of weaving various genres into one memorable story 1 7 Dec 28, 2009 05:22PM  

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