on 11 November 2002
This work has an overall musicality that pulses with reggae and scat. I could only think, as I poured through the pages, of how happy I am to have been born in my time, and not to have lived through the utter desperation of slavery in the pre-bellum south.
I love the female narrative and think this was exquisitely done, and probably the most powerful of all of them, and I could have heard more from her. The end for me dropped off in intensity and focus a little, and became a little reflective, when I guess I wanted to see more details about how this offspring's life unfolded.
I think it's sad, and lovely, and playful at the sametime. Definately worth the read.
on 21 November 2000
The latest book from celebrated poet Fred d'Aguiar is a novel in verse form relating the story of Faith, a black slave and her white lover, Christy. Spanning the years from the American Civil War to the present and showing us how little we appear to have learnt about racism and its haunting roots d'Aguiar uses words like weapons to drive his message home. As narrated by the son of Faith and Christy the novel also peels back society's attitude to mixed marriage and exposes the raw predjudice inside. Using the ottava rima verse form favoured by Byron this is a compelling and avidly readable book despite its subject matter which some may find heavy going. They should not be deterred as d'Aguiar's sparkling way with words and pin-sharp humour lift it way above the humdrum and the moribund.As the inside cover says, " read it fast like a novel,savour every word like a poem" The only addition I can make to that is return time and again to rejoice at d'Aguiar's spellbinding language and his eternal, heart felt message.