Massacre River by Rene PhilocteteMassacre River by Rene Philoctete

Massacre River

byRene PhilocteteForeword byEdwidge DanticatTranslated byLinda Coverdale

Paperback | April 29, 2008

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 88 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


In 1937 the power-mad racist Generalissimo Trujillo ordered the slaughter of thousands and thousands of Haitians and, as Philoctete puts it, death set up shop everywhere. At the heart of Massacre River is the loving marriage of the Dominican Pedro and the Haitian Adele in a little town on the Dominican border. On his way to work, Pedro worries that a massacre is in the making; an olive-drab truck packed with armed soldiers rumbles by. And then the church bells begin to ring, and there is the relentless voice on the radio everywhere, urging the slaughter of all the Haitians. Operation Cabezas Haitianas (Haitian Heads) is underway, the soldiers shout, "Perejil! [Parsley!] Perish! Punish!" Haitians try to pronounce "perejil" correctly, but fail, and weep. The town is in an uproar, Adele is ordered to say "perejil" but stammers. And Pedro runs home and searches for his beloved wife, searches and searches " The characters of this book not only inspired the love and outrage of an extraordinary writer like Philoctete," writes Edwige Danticat, "but continue to challenge the meaning of community and humanity in all of us."
Linda Coverdale has translated over forty books, including works by Roland Barthes, Annie Ernaux, and Patrick Chamoiseau. Her translation of Tahar Ben Jelloun's This Blinding Absence of Light won the 2004 IMPAC International Dublin Literary Award.Acclaimed Haitian poet and scholar René Philoctète was a founder of the group Haiti L...
Title:Massacre RiverFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 7 × 5 × 0.75 inPublished:April 29, 2008Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0811217256

ISBN - 13:9780811217255


Editorial Reviews

A classic Haitian novel. — Confrontation

This virtuosic translation, by Linda Coverdale, is his first into English. Meticulousness characterizes the novel to the very end. — Abigain Deutsch (The Literary Review)