This satirical novel is set in the heady atmosphere of carnival on the tropical Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao, where the contradictions of postcolonial existence come to a boil that is furious, often bitingly funny, and sometimes almost intolerably tragic. And through it all, the story manages by way of a genuinely African derived rhythm to offer a message of hope. The heroine of the novel is Bir, a woman in her late sixties, the mama grandi with her ancient wisdom, a solid root of the community, dispensing medicinal herbs, advice, and motherly love. The flavor of the island is unmistakable: it is an authentic Curaçaoan story by noted Curaçaoan author Diana Lebacs. Not only is it Curaçaoan in its subject matter but in the way the story is told. It is serious but full of humor, from gentle irony to slapstick, with a lot of social satire in between. Founding Fictions of the Dutch Caribbean: Diana Lebacs’ The Longest Month (‘De langste maand’), originally written in Dutch, is suitable for courses on Caribbean and postcolonial literature, women’s writing, and for readers of fiction in general.
Diana Lebacs, author, artist, and educator, was born in Curaçao. She died in 2022. Most known for her children’s literature and young adult novels written in Papiamentu and Dutch, she has also written poetry and drama. Lebacs has received international recognition for her books. ‘The Longest Month’ is her first novel for adults. Olga E. Rojer, PhD, is associate professor of German and Dutch Caribbean Studies at American University in Washington DC. The Longest Month is her third translated volume in the Founding Fictions of the Dutch Caribbean series published by Peter Lang. Joseph O. Aimone, PhD, now retired from academic life, collaborated with Olga E. Rojer on the Founding Fictions of the Dutch Caribbean series, including this volume.
Eerder verschenen in deze reeks Cola Debrot’s «My Black Sister», Boeli van Leeuwen’s «A Stranger on Earth» en Carel de Haseth’s «Slave and Master (Katibu di Shon)».
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