1 thought on “La Danse Sur Le Volcan”

  1. 'Dance on the Volcano' by Marie Vieux-Chauvet (translated by Kaiama L Glover)4.5 stars/ 9 out of 10This story is set in a country about which I know very little, Haiti; and at a time about which I know even less, the Haitian Revolution.Marie Vieux-Chauvet, through a story that revolves around the life of Minette, a 'mixed-blood' girl, provides us with a great insight into this time, the end of the 18th century. I was fascinated to find out more about this society and culture. I found all the des [...]

  2. Sometimes the intrinsic interest of a book outweighs its literary merit and I felt this was very much the case with this Haitian novel from 1957. The author is a key figure of Haitian literature and using a real historical event as her springboard shows us a society and a time that is, to my knowledge, rarely reflected in fiction. Set in Haiti in the late 18th century it’s the tale of a local mixed-race girl who through the beauty of her voice is catapulted to stardom and manages to cross raci [...]

  3. I love translated fiction. We do ourselves a disservice when we fail to broaden our literature horizons and include points of view from around the world. If I had the time I would do an "around the world" read, and I do try to sample from various parts of the globe. Since books from the Caribbean are difficult to come by, I jumped at the chance to read Dance on the Volcano, and I'm so glad I did.The story takes place in late 18th century Haiti, just before and during the French Revolution. At th [...]

  4. I wanted to take a break from nonfiction/craft study books, I found this at a local bookstore, who has a large inventory of books in translation. The story is fiction, but has "real" people in the book. It's sort of a history period story in 18th Century Haiti, leading up to the rebellion. It's a great study into the lives of "freed people" - "enslaved people" - the white oppressor, all living under one room. The dynamics between the freed and enslave people; their everyday lives that differ and [...]

  5. I don't know if it's the translation, but the writing is almost unbearably bad. It's loaded with cliches (which are often anachronistic) and an overabundance of awkward superlatives that make the story, and its characters, feel utterly vapid and devoid of any sense of authenticity. For instance, as opposed to developing characters through nuance and subtle literary devices, the author simply states how a particular character is feeling, or how the audience to ought feel about a particular event. [...]

  6. Read in recent translation by Kaiama Glover. Set in the last decade of the 1700's in the early and mid years of the Haitian revolution and based on real historical persons and events of the period. Recommended for its accurate historical descriptions of the time and exploration of the attitudes and lifestyle of freedmen, mulattos and "small whites" of the era. Highly romantic in style which i found a bit off-putting, but consistent with the original author. I am not sure it would appeal to anyon [...]

  7. This book was extremely interesting because I knew nothing of the Haitian revolution. I love the story's heroine. I fell in love with her courage and passionate quest to show the world her true self, even if the world she was born into defied her at every turn. I do wish she had cried a little less, but given the horrific things she witnessed, I suppose it's warranted. All-and-all a truly classic piece of historical fiction I would highly recommend.

  8. Read this for my book group. Compelling story. Last 100 or so pages felt rushed. Up until then it was very good. But I did learn a bit about the Haitian revolution, and am now reading Black Jacobins to learn a bit more of Haitian history. Recommend to the curious. Not a beach read.

  9. I liked learning the history and it made me want to read more about the slave revolution in Haiti. The story was good too, but it just seemed to drift a bit, especially in how the end wasn't really climactic. One character hates both sides and the main one loves both sides, illogically.

  10. I was granted access to an early copy of this book through NetGalley and after reading the description of the book I was super excited about it. I wish that excitement had kept me locked throughout the book but I quickly noticed that I, personally, was just struggling to keep my focus on it. There isn't anything particularly wrong with the book, I think it just wasn't my favorite type of writing style so I just wasn't completely captivated. The story line is a fascinating one and it is always in [...]

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