All Souls' Rising: A Novel of Haiti (1) (Paperback)
One of my all time favorite novels, and the best historical novel I've ever read. The great Haitian revolution (to date the only successful slave rebellion of the modern era) amid the ferment of the Enlightenment and Napoleonic era reaction. This is a violent story, make no mistake. And it could be said that many "deserving" people get it in the neck. But... it is the instances of love and compassion, the humanity that makes this splendid. "A serious historical novel that reads like a dream."— From Jesse
"A serious historical novel that reads like a dream." --The Washington Post Book World
"One of the most spohisticated fictional treatments of the enduring themes of class, color, and freedom." --San Francisco Chronicle
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
PEN/FAULKNER AWARD FINALIST
This first installment of the epic Haitian trilogybrings to life a decisive moment in the history of race, class, and colonialism. The slave uprising in Haiti was a momentous contribution to the tide of revolution that swept over the Western world at the end of the 1700s. A brutal rebellion that strove to overturn a vicious system of slavery, the uprising successfully transformed Haiti from a European colony to the world's first Black republic. From the center of this horrific maelstrom, the heroic figure of Toussaint Louverture a loyal, literate slave andboth a devout Catholic and Vodouisant emerges as the man who will take the merciless fires of violence and vengeance and forge a revolutionary war fueled byliberty and equality.
Bell assembles a kaleidoscopic portrait of this seminal movement through a tableau of characters that encompass black, white, male, female, rich, poor, free and enslaved. Pulsing with brilliant detail, All Soul's Rising provides a visceral sense of the pain, terror, confusion, and triumph of revolution.
About the Author
Madison Smartt Bell is the author of fourteen works of fiction, including The Stone That the Builder Refused; Master of the Crossroads; Save Me, Joe Louis; Dr. Sleep; Soldier's Joy; and Ten Indians. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his family and teaches at Goucher College.
“As powerful as a hurricane. . . . All Souls’ Rising is really about us, our times, our prejudices, our race wars.” –The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“A serious historical novel that reads like a dream.” –The Washington Post Book World
“Rich and ambitious. . . . One of the most sophisticated fictional treatments of the enduring themes of class, color, and freedom.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“A powerful and intelligent novel. . . . Historical fiction in the monumental manner.” –The New York Times Book Review
“A beautifully composed, eloquent, grand nightmare of a book. With it, Bell becomes as remarkable a historical novelist as we have in this country.” –Harold Bloom
“A work of breathtaking stylistic expertise on a large scale, easily [Bell’s] most daring and accomplished novel.” —The Baltimore Sun
“A passionately engaged opus. All Souls’ Rising reflects both a sustained imaginative audacity and great intellectual resourcefulness.” —The New Yorker
“Remarkable. . . . All Souls’ Rising deserves to be read for its fictional representation of history and for its compelling characterizations. But its political importance should not be underestimated. . . . Bell’s excursion into revolutionary Haiti is the attempt of an undaunted novelist to stand face to face, as it were, with the prehistory of our own racial divisiveness. . . . An important book.” —The Oregonian
“I’ve known Madison Smartt Bell’s work for quite a while, and this is the best thing he’s ever done–and probably the best thing he’ll ever do, which is my definition of a masterpiece. All Souls’ Rising is simply breathtaking.” —Gloria Naylor
“The scope of this ambitious narrative is heroic. . . . Bell demonstrates that each race destroys itself in doing evil to the other.” —Chicago Tribune
“A major work, a triumph of both storytelling and inspired historical analysis.” —Robert Stone
“A vivid, visceral tale. . . . [Bell] has taken the events of eighteenth-century colonial Haiti and made them a prism for the most divisive issues confronting us today.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Bell’s luminous, intelligent novel . . . is magnificent. It restores my faith in the energy of American fiction.” —Barbara Probst Solomon