Hadriana in All My Dreams by René Depestre book review



Hadriana in All My Dreams, winner of the prestigious Prix Renaudot, takes place primarily during Carnival in 1938 in the Haitian village of Jacmel. A beautiful young French woman, Hadriana, is about to marry a Haitian boy from a prominent family. But on the morning of the wedding, Hadriana drinks a mysterious potion and collapses at the altar. Transformed into a zombie, her wedding becomes her funeral. She is buried by the town, revived by an evil sorcerer, and then disappears into popular legend. Set against a backdrop of magic and eroticism, and recounted with delirious humor, the novel raises universal questions about race and sexuality. The reader comes away enchanted by the marvelous reality of Haiti’s vodoo culture and convinced of Depestre’s lusty claim that all beings––even the undead ones––have a right to happiness and true love.


This book is not exactly what you would expect when you see the description mentions zombies. Rather this set in Haiti where the concept of such originally came from. This book is fairly evenly paced with small does of magically elements. The writing was beautiful and i’d love to read it in its original work, as this one has been translated. Originally published in 1988, the author still blends his beautiful poetic verse in the words in this story. I strongly suggest this book as it should be on every classic lover’s shelf. The story was fascinating and i enjoyed it. 5 stars from me. Thank you to Akashic books for sending me this in exchange for review.


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