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Street of Lost Footsteps by Lyonel Trouillot

Street of Lost Footsteps

by Lyonel Trouillot

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191537,190 (3.5)13

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The action in this novella takes place during one unspeakable night of violence in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, as the Troops of the Prophet engage in a bloodbath with the forces of the dictator Deceased Forever-Immortal. The three main characters, an aging madam, a post office worker and a taxi driver, all unreliable narrators, relay their tales of the night's events in alternating chapters to an unknown interviewer. They also paint portraits of life in the poverty- and war-stricken country, where even young boys seethe with hatred toward their neighbors. Trouillot includes frequent references to past revolutionary events and violent episodes in the country's history, including the massacre of tens of thousands of innocent Haitians by the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1937.

Unfortunately, I did not find this to be a particularly captivating or enlightening story. The taxi driver was the only character who was caught in the midst of the violence of that night, but even his account was not an engaging one. I did enjoy the only other book I've read by this author, Children of Heroes, but this one wasn't nearly as good. ( )
  kidzdoc | Mar 31, 2010 |
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To my friends in Iowa, Katherine, Win Pei, and all the others. To Pierre and Djénane , to Sabine.
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So. Monsieur, it began with a great gust of wind.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0803294506, Paperback)

Lyonel Trouillot’s harrowing novel depicts a night of blazing violence in modern-day Port-au-Prince and recalls hundreds of years of violence stretching back even before the birth of Haiti in the fires of revolution. Three narrators—a madam, a taxi driver, and a post office employee—describe in almost hallucinatory terms the escalating chaos of a bloody uprising that pits the partisans of the Prophet against the murderous might of the great dictator Deceased Forever-Immortal.
The drama of promise and betrayal in Haitian life inform’s Street of Lost Footsteps with the grim irony and savage tenderness characteristic of writers for whom the repetitiveness of history has gone beyond tragedy, through farce, and on into insanity. With impressive originality and touching immediacy, Trouillot explores the nature of political oppression, memory, and truth.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:35 -0400)

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