by Madison Smartt Bell
Haiti in the late eighteenth century: a French colonial society founded on the backs of its black slaves; a morass of shifting political and personal loyalties, of hatred and cruelty meted out to match the increments of lightness and darkness in the color of skin; a world already haunted by its recent genocidal history and facing a new war of extermination in its dangerously near future. This is the setting for Madison Smartt Bell's "All Souls' Rising"—an explosive, epic historical novel. Leaving the dark, contemporary world he has made his own in nine previous, highly acclaimed novels and short story collections, Bell now turns to the past and brings to life the slave rebellion of the 1790s that would bring an end to the brutal white rule in Haiti. At the epicenter of the rebellion is a second-generation African slave known as Toussaint-Louverture. Self-educated, favored and trusted by his master, quietly charismatic, bold in thought and subtle in action, Toussaint is determined to resist the excesses of the mob and still put an end to French dominion. Toussaint's story is the focal point of the larger drama of an avaricious inhumanity and the deadly conflagration that was its outcome, the consequences of which have reached even into our own time.
Paperback: 530 pages