explores the ongoing burdens of slavery, racism, and colonial rule through the story of reserved young Dieudonné, accused and then acquitted of murdering his employer and lover, an older woman named Loraine from Guadeloupe’s white Creole upper class.
Scandal is at the center of two of Condé’s newly translated novels, both of which show her at her signature best: offering complex, polyphonic and ultimately shattering stories whose provocations linger long after their final pages ... The book opens in a packed courtroom, the moment after a jury has acquitted Dieudonné Sabrina, our protagonist, of the murder of his lover ... As the book progresses, filtering Dieudonné and his crime again and again through characters major and minor, we slip further from understanding him ... What emerges instead is a fascinating cross section of Guadeloupean society ... The book is filled with...insights, at once everyday and prophetic.
Translated from the French by Nicole Simek, Condé’s prose moves effortlessly through the conversational, the crass, and the beautiful during Dieudonné’s nearly twenty-four hour journey ... Through Dieudonné’s encounters with these strangers, and the corresponding portrait of a nation gripped by a media trial, The Belle Créole is as invested in locality as it is in personality, allowing the novel freedom from the traditional claustrophobic trappings of an excessively individual novel ... In The Belle Créole,/em>, characters ache for personal renewal or nationwide revolution, and pine, consciously or unconsciously, for the means by which it might occur.
Heartbreaking if splendidly, even lusciously, written, this new work from celebrated author Condé (Segu;I Tituba) explores the ongoing burdens of slavery, racism, and colonial rule through the story of reserved young Dieudonné ... In this masterly work, Condé makes the complexity of Dieudonné’s situation evident and his suffering vividly real.