Chamoisseau, Patrick. Texaco. New York: Pantheon Books, 1997.
Reason read: October is the month for magical realism.
Disclaimer: I usually have a hard time with magical realism and I had already tried to read this book once before.
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 shantytown of the same name besieged from every angle. From within, the society is wrathful and distrusting. From without everyone is a stranger. The language is mystical but I found my mind wandering as a result.
As I mentioned earlier, I tried reading this once before and failed. No different this time around.
Lines I liked, “The answers to this question were so abundant that the real truth forever slipped through our fingers” (p 10) and “It didn’t take them two centuries to decide what to do” (p 55).
Author Fact: Chamoisseau also wrote Chronicle of the Seven Sorrows which is on my list.
Book Trivia: Texaco is a Prix Goncourt winner.
BookLust Twist: from two places. First, in Book Lust in the chapter called, “Magical Realism” (p 148) and second, in More Book Lust in the chapter called, “The Contradictory Caribbean: Pleasure and Pain” (p 56).