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Masters of the Dew (Caribbean Writers Series)
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Masters of the Dew (Caribbean Writers Series)

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  488 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
This outstanding Haitian novel tells of Manuel's struggle to keep his little community from starvation during drought.

The genre of the peasant novel in Haiti reaches back to the nineteenth century and this is one of the outstanding examples. Manuel returns to his native village after working on a sugar plantation in Cuba only to discover that it is stricken by a drought an
...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 1st 1978 by Heinemann Educational Books (first published 1944)
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Seffra
Feb 19, 2016 rated it liked it
3 stars

The writing was choppy and I felt like it jumped a lot or it stayed within the same scene for quite some time.

That being said, it was a wonderful story on a dream and how one strives for himself and for his people. Manuel believed that the village will have water and worked hard to get it.

I really enjoyed the ending!
Harry Rutherford
When I opened the package and saw the cover, I thought for a moment that the bookseller had cocked up and sent me a romance novel by mistake. But they hadn’t; Masters of the Dew is that slightly curious thing, a peasant novel. Curious because, generally speaking, peasants don’t write novels — the hero of this story is illiterate, in fact — so these books are written by outsiders, for whatever reasons of their own.

Jacques Roumain was from a wealthy Haitian family, educated in Europe, a politician
...more
Amabelle
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece!!!! A must read when it comes to Haitian literature and culture. Universal themes (race, class, inter generation conflict, love, loyalty, etc) are explored and it's amazing how it reveals how relevant this book is today for present day Haiti.
A_girl_from_earth
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, haiti
Il y a quelque chose du grand classique français (je pense comme ça à Zola, Mérimée...) et de la tragédie grecque, mais à la sauce haïtienne, avec un langage et des dialogues exotiques et colorés, c'est assez savoureux et dépaysant.
Jacqueline Bru
Magnifique,
Lyv


La première fois que j'ai lu ce roman remonte à environ dix ans. de lui, je me rappelais la silhouette fine d'une femme qui remontait un sentier, une jarre sur la tête.

Je me rappelais une histoire d'amour, tendre et simple. Je me rappelle qu'après l'avoir refermé, j'avais soupiré et je m'étais dit "quelle belle histoire"
J'ai ressenti à peu près la même chose à cette deuxième lecture, mais ai été plus sensible à la force et à la poésie de ce récit.

L'histoire se passe en Haïti.
Dans la commune de
...more
Hunt
Apr 04, 2010 rated it liked it
"Masters of the Dew" written by Haitian author Jacques Roumain and orignally published in 1944 was a very interesting and entertaining read. Although i would not designate this novel as one of the best works from Haiti that i have read it is decent in its own respects. If i had to categorize "Masters of the Dew" i would place it in the genre of the 'peasant novel experience' so common to the caribbean and Latin America. The novel follows the struggles and efforts of villagers to overcome divisio ...more
Miguel
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A masterful example of the Caribbean literature staple, the peasant novel, Roumain's Masters of the Dew is a beautiful story of triumph over poverty and harmony with nature. Roumain's Marxist ideology permeates the undercurrent of the novel, however the narrative is generally free of any overt political expression. Langston Hughes translation is masterful and conveys the story extremely well. For any reader, this book couldn't come with a higher recommendation.
Ren
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This was my first venture into Haitian literature and Haitian philosophy. I really enjoyed it and strongly connected with the mother and father in the story, and with the sense of struggle, and putting aside grievances for the good of the community as a whole. It's a very dynamic book with dynamic characters, and I think it is an essential piece of literature.
Astrid Letoh
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Un Chef d'œuvre.
Une histoire d'amour extraordinaire.
Un style incomparable.
A lire absolument.
Rosamund
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting, vivid and politically inspired. The sexism is of its time and culture but still took the edge off it for me.
Matthew Castner
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I first started reading this book, it was difficult to understand. The way they speak in the book is a lot different than anything I have read before. I also did not understand some things about their culture at first. Once you read a few chapters you really start to understand the book. It is actually a really good book with a lot more to it than you would think. There is a forbidden romance and a long time feud that are both wrapped up in a would be disastrous event. I would recommend rea ...more
Renee
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Poetic writing telling the story of a community divided by hate and lack of resources.
Shaina
Sep 04, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: for-school
I found this novel appalling, though I seem to be in a minority...

The main character is such a blatant "Mary Sue" or whatever the male equivalent would be, that my literature professor, who loved the book, even admitted that his character was meant to be likened to Jesus. He is perfect in every way, woos women effortlessly, and is loved by all, to the point that it's sickening to read.

His lover, a shy woman, falls deeply in love with him from just one conversation, and they make gross love on th
...more
Elizabeth
Apr 06, 2011 rated it liked it
A small community in Haiti is suffering from the lack of water, as well as from being divided due to a family dispute. One man who has been away for 15 years returns and vows to find a solution to the situation.

This book was a nice quick read, interesting and moving. However, I found it to be extremely sexist - which is partly due to its context, but it was just ridiculous - as well as fairly predictable. I suspect it also suffered from the translation into English.
Batya
Nov 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is a story about the land in Haiti and a bold proposal to reconcile an old feud to save it. I was especially interested in the connection with the main character's experience in Cuba. Be sure to read the introduction by Michael Dash explaining, among other things, the context and problematic translation by Langston Hughes of the Haitian term "neg."
James
Oct 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
This is a cool little novel with its share of problems. It ends with an ultra-cheesy twist, and some of the characters are thin: the villain is almost mustache-twirlingly Evil. But it's a great investigation of Haitian society, and the way Roumain blends first- and third-person narration is really interesting, especially given his culture's narrative tradition.
Francesca
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Love this book! It's like the Caribbean version of Romeo and Juliet; so poetic and lyrical at times that you forget you're reading a novel. The writing was very powerful, and I definitely found myself feeling very strongly for the struggles of the characters. The ending is sad and uplifting all at the same time. This is a very heartfelt novel.
Kelsey
Jan 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Definitely a communist text, which, considering the history of Haiti (the setting) I don't really find that surprising. I would probably think communism is a good idea too if I lived in such an extreme wealth divided country.

I think the death of the main character, Manuel can be read as a christ figure, which is pretty interesting considering Marx's views on Christianity.
Léa
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Etre coupée d'internet ne m'a bien entendu pas empêché de poursuivre mes lectures.
Ce titre est un classique de la littérature haïtienne à la langue savoureuse. Un "Roméo et Juliette" dans la paysannerie misérable du centre de l'île, à la fois fable écologique et éloge de l'union comme condition d'émancipation, ce très beau texte est à redécouvrir.

Cheryl Elaine
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: caribbean-theme
I can see why this book is considered a classic The beautiful prose often caused me to pause. I ended it with a tear in my eye, as I was rapidly pulled into the story and the life of misery and unity of these characters. A destiny not fully evaded, even to this day. The themes are very current.
Gwendolyn
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
J'ai aimee ce livre tres bien! J'ai lu ce livre pendent un cours de la literature de l'afrique du nord et la diaspora et c'est parfait pour ca. Je veux re-lire pour avoir plus de sense du roman, mais c'est un histoire tragique mais realistique du haiti pendant ce temps.
Mariama
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this right before I went to Haiti and so much of it could still apply today. I actually got to see a combite while I was in the countryside and I felt a special connection to it because of the book.
Vicky Bernard
Mar 20, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Style ampoulé, récit s'annonçant ennuyeux et nombreuses fautes de grammaires dans mon édition = j'ai abandonné à la page 20...
Purple Iris
Aug 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was lovely. It's so easy to see why it's the classic Haitian novel. It's going to be hard to choose just one excerpt to translate.
Penina
Mar 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is the most beautiful Love story. It connects every human being to their roots no matter where or how deep they lie.
Dindy
Oct 18, 2008 added it
Recommended to Dindy by: Edwidge Danticat
The writer's who said this novel was seminal were more than right. A romantic homage to a misunderstood country. The story is as relevant today as when it was first published.
Elena
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Era un po' che non mi commuovevo con un libro. Storia di bontà e intelligenza; accurata, fresca, semplice, limpida, fluida nella scrittura.
Linda
Apr 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
worth reading as part of studying Haiti - not great literature.
Jenna
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic book, and I think it would make an amazing movie. What a beautiful read!
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Roumain est né le 4 juin 1907, à Port-au-Prince, dans une famille aisée. Son grand-père, Tancrède Auguste, fut président d'Haïti de 1912 à 1913. Il fréquenta des écoles catholiques à Port-au-Prince et, plus tard, étudia en Belgique, en Suisse, en France et en Allemagne. À vingt ans, il revint en Haïti et fut co-créateur de "La Revue Indigène" avec Émile Roumer, Philippe Thoby-Marcelin, Carl Brouar ...more
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