- Paperback: 222 pages
- Publisher: LA Questa Pr (April 1 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0964434822
- ISBN-13: 978-0964434820
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 1.9 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 299 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,091,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Zombi, You My Love Paperback – Apr 1 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
The Haiti of the Duvalier years as conjured in Orem's uneven but sometimes impressive debut collection is full of political violence, voyeurism and voodoo. Examining the lives of both Haitians and the various Americans who have found themselves in this unwelcoming place, the stories evoke a country enervated by upheaval and burdened by the Westerners who continue to colonize it. A romance develops between the recurring American characters Thomas (a photojournalist) and Ava (a nurse working at a Catholic hospital) as they come to different decisions about their place in Haiti. "After the Rain" tells of a missionary who "remain[s] in her position out of a sense of terrible if irremediable lethargy"Aa passivity that's obvious as she watches a State Department representative flog a burro in the same manner he has beaten a Haitian woman. In the equally disturbing "The Woman and the Man from CARE," four characters sitting on an offshore skiff witness a man being murdered on the beach. Callous and curious, the character called "the fat man" says that they'll soon smell the burning of the ignited tire wrapped around the waist of the murder victim. His colleague from CARE responds: "This whole island already stinks." The irony that operates so strongly in these tales is less evident in the stories infused with magic realism narrated by Haitian characters. Here, as in "The Blessed," Orem's voice is eerier but less convincing. A sad sack worker becomes something of a prophet when he claims to have been given a message by a sacred woman; his half-lie provokes religious ecstasy in a huge crowd. In the title story, recalcitrant zombie Johnny Renelus falls in love with his live master's dead girlfriend, who dances for the guests assembled at the bokor's house. Orem decorates his matter-of-fact prose with phrases of Creole and French and creates a folky atmosphere even as he addresses the touchy subjects of class, politics and race.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Orem's finely wrought tales re-create the world of a Caribbean where native gods vie with established religions. Highly recommended... -- Choice, October, 1999
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