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    Blonde Roots (Hardback) By (author) Bernardine Evaristo

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    DescriptionWelcome to a world turned upside down. One minute, Doris is playing hide-and-seek with her sisters in the fields behind their cottage. The next, someone puts a bag over her head and she ends up in the hold of a slave ship sailing to the New World. When she finally arrives on a strange tropical island, Doris discovers that she is, in fact, a pig-ugly savage with a brain the size of a pea, whose only purpose in life is to please her mistress. While experiencing the hardships of life in the sugarcane fields, she dreams of escape, of finding those she has loved and lost, and of returning home to her motherland, England.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Blonde Roots

    Title
    Blonde Roots
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Bernardine Evaristo
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 272
    Width: 161 mm
    Height: 234 mm
    Thickness: 26 mm
    Weight: 532 g
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780241143858
    ISBN 10: 0241143853
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: GEN
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: F1.1
    BIC subject category V2: FA
    DC22: 823.92
    BISAC V2.8: FIC019000
    Illustrations note
    1 map
    Publisher
    Penguin Books Ltd
    Imprint name
    Hamish Hamilton Ltd
    Publication date
    31 July 2008
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Author Information
    Bernardine Evaristo is the author of three novels, Lara, The Emperor's Babe and Soul Tourists, all of which fuse fiction with poetry. Blonde Roots is her first prose novel. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004 and the Royal Society of Arts in 2006. She lives in London.
    Review text
    A pleasingly subversive, well-crafted novel of slavery and deliverance that turns conventions - and the world - upside down.Evaristo (The Emperor's Babe, 2002) poses a provocative question: What if African slavers one day showed up on the Cabbage Coast and hauled off the inhabitants to work on plantations on some distant continent? That's how the heroine, an Englishwoman named Doris, came to be the chattel of Chief Kaga Konata Katamba I (referred to as Bwana), who "made his fortune in the import-export game, the notorious transatlantic slave run, before settling down to life in polite society as an absentee sugar baron, part-time husband, freelance father, retired decent human being and, it goes without saying, sacked soul." Bwana has his Simon Legree - esque moments, but then so do all the slaveowners. There are Uncle Toms and Mammies among the pale-complexioned transplants from what the Africans call the Gray Continent (because, obviously, the skies are so gray there), but Doris mostly minds her own business and pines for the fjords until she's swept up in rather elaborate events that take her on the runaway path to freedom - or so she hopes. Along the way she encounters long-lost relatives ("Mi cyant beleeve it. Me reelee cyant beleeve it," one exclaims upon seeing her). Evaristo, the English-born child of a Nigerian father, has obvious great fun toying with some of the saintly slave and dastardly master conventions of the slave-narrative genre, and if her story has some of the dire possibilities of P.D. James's near-futurist Children of Men, she favors ironic laughter to gloom - though there is gloom too ("I looked around and saw my future: haggard, hunchbacked women whose arms were streaked with the darkened, congealed skin of old burns"). Watch for the smart plays on real-world geography and history; the where-are-they-now notes at the end of the book are not to be missed either.A light entertainment on the surface, but with hidden depths; nicely written. (Kirkus Reviews)