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The Chosen Place, The Timeless People Paperback – September 12, 1984

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (September 12, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394726332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394726335
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By IsolaBlue on November 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Merle Kinbona is one of the most memorable and interesting protagonists in all of West Indian literature. She is one of the strongest characters in all of the literature that emerged from the 1960s, and she reflects what was going on politically not only in the Caribbean, but also in the United States during that time. American social anthropologists have been sent to a West Indian island, Merle's homeland, with plans to help the residents. With this as a backdrop, Marshall explores race, politics, and cultural differences. She addresses the issues of immigrants, outsiders, and all those living outside of their cultures. Particularly effective are her portrayals of white male characters, proving that cross-race, cross-gender writing can work. The book may be too long, but the text is accessible, and the novel features a very real sense of place. Subtle and well-handled issues of homosexuality show that Marshall was, indeed, a woman ahead of her time.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A reader on August 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
Marshall's strength as an author of fiction lies in her ability to write rich, detailed characterizations. Throughout "The Chosen Place, the Timeless People," the variety of ages, races, class identities, and cultural backgrounds is woven into a fascinating narrative about a fictional Caribbean island in the early throes of multi-national post-industrial capitalism. How the characters react to these outside influences of globalization on them is the focus of the struggles: in their interpersonal relationships, in their determination to remember and re-enact the history of oppression and liberation from slavery, and in the larger struggles between nations and nationality.
As a metaphor for colonialism, this book is stunning. Harriet, the American woman who finds herself so out of place in the West Indian world, so unable to understand the "laws" by which this world operates (as seen in the arrogance she displays by taking the eggs meant for trading and making omelets for the children, which go uneaten), gets swept away by the force of a carnival crowd. She feels the power and feels the fear of that power as she falls to the ground. Without understanding, she watches the recreation of the past and senses its full force, then becomes overwhelmed by it-but she is unable to comprehend it or stop it. This representation of the local history is too much for the American to take in, and she is ultimately undone by its power. Although she never understands why, the force of this collective memory changes her life forever, and her incapacity to understand it forces her to her final end.
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0 of 16 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Carney on May 28, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Required reading for my 16 year old son for school
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