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—Julian Lucas, The New York Times Book Review
“Slave Old Man is a cloudburst of a novel, swift and compressed— but every page pulses, blood-warm. . . . The prose is so electrifyingly synesthetic that, on more than one occasion, I found myself stopping to rub my eyes in disbelief.”
—Parul Seghal, The New York Times
“Mr. Chamoiseau writes in a wild medley of French and Creole, sliding from dialect to classical expression like a freeform jazz musician. Linda Coverdale’s translation, the first in English, is gloriously unshackled. . . . This [is a] beautiful book, by a writer who’s as original as any I’ve read all year.”
—Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
A Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of 2018An Editor’s Choice of The New York Times Book Review
Included in Vanity Fair's “What to Read in May”
Included in Buzzfeed's “30 Exciting New Books To Add To Your Summer Reading List”
Included in The Millions's “May Preview: The Millions Most Anticipated (This Month)”
Named one of the “Most Anticipated Fiction Books of 2018” by the Chicago Review of Books
From a Prix Goncourt writer hailed by Milan Kundera as the “heir of Joyce and Kafka,” a gripping story of an escaped slave in Martinique and the killer hound that pursues him
From one of the most innovative and subversive novelists writing in French, a “writer of exceptional and original gifts” (The New York Times), whose Texaco won the Prix Goncourt and has been translated into fourteen languages, Patrick Chamoiseau’s Slave Old Man is a gripping, profoundly unsettling story of an elderly slave’s daring escape into the wild from a plantation in Martinique, with his master and a fearsome hound on his heels.
We follow them into a lush rain forest where nature is beyond all human control: sinister, yet entrancing and even exhilarating, because the old man’s flight to freedom will transform them all in truly astonishing—even otherworldly—ways, as the overwhelming physical presence of the forest reshapes reality and time itself. Chamoiseau’s exquisitely rendered new novel is an adventure for all time, one that fearlessly portrays the demonic cruelties of the slave trade and its human costs in vivid, sometimes hallucinatory prose. Offering a loving and mischievous tribute to the Creole culture of Martinique and brilliantly translated by Linda Coverdale, this novel takes us on a unique and moving journey into the heart of Caribbean history.