"Chamoiseau is a writer who has the sophistication of the modern novelist, and it is from that position (as an heir of Joyce and Kafka) that he holds out his hand to the oral prehistory of literature."
Of black Martinican provenance, Patrick Chamoiseau gives us "Texaco (winner of the Prix Goncourt, France's most prestigious literary prize), an international literary achievement, tracing one hundred and fifty years of post-slavery Caribbean history: a novel that is as much about self-affirmation engendered by memory as it is about a quest for the adequacy of its own form.
In a narrative composed of short sequences, each recounting episodes or developments of moment, and interspersed with extracts from fictive notebooks and from statements by an urban planner, Marie-Sophie Laborieux, the saucy, aging daughter of a slave affranchised by his master, tells the story of the tormented foundation of her people's identity. The shantytown established by Marie-Sophie is menaced from without by hostile landowners and from within by the volatility of its own provisional state. Hers is a brilliant polyphonic rendering of individual stories informed by rhythmic orality and subversive humor that shape a collective experience.
A joyous affirmation of literature that brings to mind Boccaccio, La Fontaine, Lewis Carroll, Montaigne, Rabelais, and Joyce, "Texaco is a work of rare power and ambition, a masterpiece.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - SeriousGrace - LibraryThing
This sweeping saga traces one hundred and fifty years of Martinique history. Mostly told from the point of view of Marie-Sophie Laborieux, the daughter of a former slave, texaco is the story of a ... Read full review
TEXACOUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
This dense, crowded, intricately constructed novel—a fictional history of the Caribbean underclass in the century-and-a- half since the abolition of slavery—won for Martinique's Chamoiseau the ... Read full review
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