Magazine article The New Yorker

Briefly Noted

Magazine article The New Yorker

Briefly Noted

Article excerpt

Briefly Noted

Toussaint Louverture, by Philippe Girard (Basic). After leading a slave revolt in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) in 1791--the only successful such revolt in history--Louverture became an anti-colonial icon. He emerges in this excellent biography as a man more complex than the myth of him would have it. His military and political stratagems coincided with a receptive mood in revolutionary France, which abolished slavery in 1794. In the restive period that followed, Louverture consolidated power, ultimately enforcing a labor code no less repressive than slavery. Girard writes thoughtfully about the various contradictions of Louverture's life, which ended in a prison cell in France. While there, he wrote a memoir addressed to Napoleon, expecting to be acknowledged by him as an equal.

Am I Alone Here?, by Peter Orner (Catapult). "Stories say what I can't," the author writes in this memoir in which short fiction becomes a form of vicarious living. Following the death of his father, Orner is left with a blank grief that he can quell only through reading. He proceeds, chapter by chapter, through what he's learned from authors from Chekhov to Welty. Kafka captures the struggle between "the craving for loneliness and a terror of it"; Herbert Morris gives the miracle of people in their "most intimate, unguarded moments"; Virginia Woolf retrieves "irretrievable time." The underlying force of the book is the desire to recover the "weight of what's vanished" and fiction's alchemical ability to do so.

The Gardens of Consolation, by Parisa Reza, translated from the French by Adriana Hunter (Europa). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.