Selling what no one wants or needs, Victor takes delivery of a barrel of mysterious powder promptly christened "white spirit" for its ability to bleach the black arms of the workers handling the shipment. To become whiter and worthier of love, Lola buys some-and then the rest vanishes. In this nightmarish Africa where colonized and colonizers have each other in a stranglehold, the "white spirit" unleashes an obsession that merges whiteness with a return to paradise-an obsession that can only end in catastrophe. Through it all, with her characteristic caustic language, fierce irony, and enormous tenderness for human frailty, Constant portrays the ridiculous without ridicule-and, miraculously, sparks a light of hope in the midst of the torment and suffering.
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Number of pages: 182
Weight: 227 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 10 mm
"Sad ironies illuminate this deftly mapped journey to the postcolonial heart of darkness. . . . With prose both dark and rollicking, Constant chronicles colonialism's terrible absurdities and reverberating effects on both Africans and Europeans."-Publishers Weekly * Publishers Weekly *
"French novelist Constant, a Prix Goncourt winner, presents a whip-smart postcolonial satire. . . . Constant's mordantly funny novel is at once a brilliantly imagined and rambunctious inquiry into environmental havoc, our close ties to our primate cousins, adulterated religion, the mystique of whiteness, and the persistence of racism, and a piquant tale of survival and longing."-Booklist -- Donna Seaman * Booklist *
"A thoroughly odd and original book."-Trish Crapo, Women's Review of Books -- Trish Crapo * Women's Review of Books *