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225 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1986
Je hurlai et plus je hurlais, plus j’éprouvais le désire de hurler. De hurler ma souffrance, ma révolte, mon impuissante colère. Quel était ce monde qui avait fait de moi une esclave, une orpheline, une paria? Quel était ce monde qui me séparait des miens? Qui m’obligeait à vivre parmi des gens qui ne parlaient pas ma langue, qui ne partageaient pas ma religion, dans un pays malgracieux, peu avenant?In the Condé's novel, Tituba is biracial, born on Barbados to a young African slave woman who was raped by an English sailor. Tituba's mother is hanged after defending herself from the sexual advances of her white owner. Tituba is run off the plantation and becomes a maroon, having no owner, but not able to connect to society. She grows up living with an old spiritual herbalist named Mama Yaya [whom I absolutely adored, like she was the best], and learning about traditional healing methods. She falls in love and marries a slave, John Indian, willing to return to slavery on his behalf. [This is just the first of many questionable choices Tituba makes for her lover(s).]
[translation] I screamed and the more I screamed, the more I felt the desire to scream. To scream out my suffering, my revolt, my impotent anger... What was this world that had made me a slave, an orphan, an outcast? What was this world that separated me from my own? What was this world that forced me to live among people who did not speak my language, who did not share my religion, in a country that was crude and not very accommodating?
Maryse Condé is a grand storyteller. Her authorship belongs to world literature. In her work, she describes the ravages of colonialism and the postcolonial chaos in a language which is both precise and overwhelming. The magic, the dream and the terror is, as also love, constantly present. Fiction and reality overlap each other and people live as much in an imagined world with long and complicated traditions, as the ongoing present. Respectfully and with humour, she narrates the postcolonial insanity, disruption and abuse, but also human solidarity and warmth The dead live in her stories closely to the living in a multitudinous world where gender, race and class are constantly turned over in new constellations.Her 1986 novel Moi, Tituba, sorcière... noire de Salem was translated into English in 1992 as I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Richard Philcox, her husband and well as her long-term translator.