Blonde Roots: From the Booker prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other

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Blonde Roots: From the Booker prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other

Blonde Roots: From the Booker prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other

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This time, although she's writing in the colloquial speech of her narrator, she's still extremely attentive to the function of language, the power of words to shape reality.

She has imagined the world with linguistic flourishes, creating a tale that is satirical as well as moving. Even when two slaves discover that they are from the same country, they do not speak their native language together - even when this is English. This brilliant novel will fulfil her purpose of making readers view the transatlantic slave trade with fresh eyes. For the white majority (whose prosperity today is, at the very least, partially the result of the slave trade), this is a jolt.At the start she is an educated slave with some privileges in a wealthy household in Londolo, the capital of Great Ambossa. I suppose his reaction is not so different from that of the British Raj when confronted with the Hindu practice of sati or suttee (the ritual killing of widows on their husband's funeral pyre). Slavers had just arrived or were getting ready to set sail for the various coasts of Europa: the Coal Coast, the Cabbage Coast, the Tin Coast, the Corn Coast, the Olive Coast, the Tulip Coast, the Wheat Coast, the Grape Coast, the Influenza Coast and the Cape of Bad Luck. That soft desert voice… that requires little reverberation to blow across miles of uninterrupted sands.

Her issue, Offending Frequencies, featured more poets of colour than had ever previously been published in a single issue of the journal, as well as many female, radical, experimental and outspoken voices. 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. Il romanzo è scritto in modo tale che costantemente interroga il lettore sui suoi modi di pensare e di agire, per stanare tutti i pregiudizi, anche quelli più sottaciuti, e lo fa sempre regalando un sorriso, anche se amaro. But it's also a satire, almost Swiftian in its imaginative leaps, in which humour and suffering are effortlessly intermingled.Payments made using National Book Tokens are processed by National Book Tokens Ltd, and you can read their Terms and Conditions here. The world of Blonde Roots, in which young Doris Scagglethorpe (known by her slave name of Omorenomwara) must attempt to escape from her master if she hopes to see her family again, is not a straightforward parallel of the 18th-century landscape of the slave trade’s heyday.

I was attracted to this particular book by it's premise which was, of course, also at the core of the wonderful Malorie Blackman books. For actually the cross, in all its despair, cruelty and absurdity, is the real answer to power that controls, manipulates and oppresses. Not easy to read at first, but that’s not what bothered me: why is it so very close to Afro-Caribbean patois rather than anything derived from British English, given that’s where the slaves are from?Parties of blak tourists take trips into the whyte ghettos to marvel at the poverty as tourists do now to the townships of South Africa; the Ambossan working classes shout abuse at the few free whytes who live in the suburbs - ‘Wigger, go home!

But how do you maintain that shock over atrocities 200 years old without people feeling they have heard the story before? It's sort of kind of our world, except geography is randomly different (and I don't mean place names, but actual continents and stuff are not the same shape).The second section is Chief Kaga Konata Katamba’s tracts, describing how he became wealthy trading slaves, and justifying the trade. Si erano convinti che noi non provavamo emozioni come loro, e quindi non si sentivano obbligati a provare emozioni per noi. After giving Doris a proper name -- "Omorenomwara" -- her African owner expects her to look respectable, which means wearing her straight blonde hair in plaited hoops all over her head and going barefoot.

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