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La migration des coeurs
Maryse Condé
publisher: , 1995

translated as:
Windward Heights
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1998
translation: Richard Philcox

refered to by:
Double Play: The Story of an Amazing World Record
Frank Martinus Arion

Midnight's Children
Salman Rushdie

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Set in the late 18th and early 19th centuries on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, Maryse Condé's Windward Heights is a retelling of the Emily Brontë classic Wuthering Heights. The title of the novel alone might tell you that something formulaic is afoot – and the book does for the most part mirror the wretched and doomed story of Heathcliff and Cathy. But Condé goes beyond Brontë, using shades of human color as a metaphor to illustrate subtle variations on evil, misery, and racism.
Heathcliff's counterpart in this story is Razyé, a cold, brutal, and relentless dark-skinned man of questionable origins. We meet him just before his return to the home of his youth – and to his Cathy, who has married a wealthy white creole: 'He was dressed all in
black in the French fashion, from his tightly-laced leather boots to his felt hat sewn with a large hem stitch. His skin too was black, that shiny black they call Ashanti, and his hair hung in curls like those of an Indian half-caste, the Bata-Zindien. Nobody could hold the gaze of his languishing eyes, where churned who knows what pain and solitude.'
Razyé always destroys what he loves, and as we expect, Cathy soon dies. He avenges her death by punishing everyone near him – his wife, his many children, the entire island of Guadeloupe. Society itself is devoured by his aggression and hatred. This is Razyé's essence, and Condé uses him to make her point: the agony of not belonging, of hating oneself because of one's race, is toxic. (from:


Windward Heights
A retelling of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, set in nineteenth-century Guadeloupe and Cuba.

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