Hadriana in All My Dreams

(Author) (Translator)
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Product Details

$18.95  $17.62
Akashic Books
Publish Date
5.0 X 6.9 X 0.8 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

René Depestre, born in 1926, is one of the most important voices of Haitian literature. A peer of seminal figures like Aimé Césaire, Pablo Neruda, and André Breton, Depestre has engaged with the politics/aesthetics of negritude, social realism, and surrealism for more than half a century. Having lived through significant moments in Haitian and New World history--from the overthrow of Haitian dictator Élie Lescot in 1946, to the first Congress of Black Writers and Artists in Paris in 1956, to a struggle with Haiti's François Papa Doc Duvalier in 1957, to a collaboration with Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara and a fraught relationship with Fidel Castro in the 1960s and '70s--Depestre is uniquely positioned to reflect on the extent to which the Americas and Europe are implicated in Haiti's past and present. He is the author of Hadriana in All My Dreams. Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when she was twelve. She is the editor of Haiti Noir and Haiti Noir 2: The Classics, and author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory (an Oprah's Book Club selection), Krik? Krak! (a National Book Award finalist), The Farming of Bones (an American Book Award winner), and the novel-in-stories The Dew Breaker. She has also written several young adult novels and a travel narrative, After the Dance, A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel. Her memoir, Brother, I'm Dying, was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2007 winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She is a 2009 recipient of the John D. and Catherine MacArthur Foundation grant and she lives in Miami.


"Hadriana In All My Dreams is a compelling monograph. Surreal and imaginative, it is written with a dark richness and poignancy that is void of sensationalism and hyperbole. This is fictional realism at its best, and author René Depestre proves his salt as a master craftsman."
--The Gleaner (Jamaica)

"The story is an extended love letter to author René Depestre's hometown, its creole culture, its architecture, and its annual Carnival. Visitors to Jacmel can trace the exact route of the narrative through the streets of the town, and next to the crumbling, stately mansion Depestre depicted as Hadiana's manor, a public staircase is decorated with a mosaic spelling out the opening lines of the novel."
--Caribbean Beat Magazine

"The most important thing a work-in-translation can offer a reader [is] perspective on a place, people, and language we don't immediately have access to, or one that runs counter to conventional, cliche narratives. Glover's book does that in aces."
--Words Without Borders

"Zombies, voodoo, and a sex-crazed boy-turned-butterfly are all facts of everyday life in Depestre's...colorful, magic-suffused novel."
--Kirkus Reviews, Catherine Hickey's Foreign Influence column

"A slim and beautiful novel about death, sex, and Haitian myth...A dreamlike novel that blends eye-witness testimony to the possible zombification of Hadriana with the villagers' erotic and fanciful half-memories of Haiti's thorny history."
--Kaima L. Glover (translator), Chicago Review

"The story is beautifully written in lyrical prose...Readers interested in Haitian culture will appreciate this novel and will enjoy Depestre's details about the voodoo culture as it was understood in the first half of the 20th century."
--Historical Novels Review

"An exceptional novel...Depestre's masterpiece and one of the greatest examples of Haitian literature."
--New York Journal of Books

"You've never read about a zombie like Hadriana. Transformed into the walking dead on her wedding day, Hadriana becomes part of popular legend, one imbued with magic, eroticism, and even humor."

"You do not need to believe in zombies or Vodou to be carried away by this story--a metaphor for all forms of dispossession. . .René Depestre has gone beyond nostalgia to write a sumptuous love story."
--Le Monde

"Depestre, a grandfather of Haitian literature, spins a sensuous romp that serves up equal helpings of the historically contemplative and the handsomely entertaining...Hadriana in All My Dreams opens its narrative palm cheekily, cleverly, to reveal the kernel-truth of Jacmelian life, of a resurrected beauty's power beyond pulchritude. It's a story that contains its own universe, tucked irresistibly into an evening's riotous, ruddy-cheeked read...suitable for sneaking into weddings and funerals alike."
--Caribbean Beat Magazine