|Volume No. 1 Issue No. 85 - Tuesday August 08, 2006
|Runaway Slaves of Dominica:The Untold Story |
Alick Lazare, published by iUniverse, Inc., the leading provider of publishing technology solutions for authors, announced today the publication and release of his first novel – Pharcel: Runaway Slave.
Pharcel looks at the other side of history, from the African perspective, and tells of the motives and aspirations of the runaway slaves in Dominica about the turn of the nineteenth century, and their constant battle against the oppression and greed of white colonial society.
The story is set in the period 1796 to 1803, during the time of the French Revolution and the Slave Revolt in San Domingo, and is based on actual historical happenings in Dominica, taken from published historical texts and official records.
The author looks behind the pages of official history to uncover the truth about the lives of the much maligned runaways and comes up with a story that is credible and that does justice to the noble struggles of a few brave African men and women fighting for their fundamental right of personal freedom and human dignity.
The central character, Pharcel, comes into early manhood out of adversity. Punished for a crime he did not commit, he escapes to join the runaways; and by dint of his courage and sterling qualities, he emerges as a popular leader of a vast army of escaped slaves. As the temperature rises in a fever of resentment and revolt, he is heavily sought by all the political forces on the island – the white English colonists, the revolutionary French, and the rebellious mulattos – for his role in the slave uprisings.
Torn between loyalty to his race and a strong personal desire for freedom and acceptance by the colonial powers and the rising mulatto influence, he walks a razor’s edge of duplicity and ambivalence until his natural rebelliousness is pitted against the full force of colonial power. In the end, he succumbs to an irresistible and nearly fatal attraction for the wife of a French planter; and in a fit of ruthless rage, sets the colony ablaze.
The novel reveals the true heart of the African, enslaved, brutalized and exploited, who, after centuries of relentless struggle against the white colonial planters, fought a bloody war to gain freedom and glory even in death. The author weaves an intricate plot of romance, politics, racial and social conflict and prejudice, and the inevitable collapse of the fragile and insupportable edifice of an empire based wholly on racial domination.
Bernard Wiltshire, noted lawyer, historian and scholar said of Pharcel:
Alick Lazare has written a powerful new historical novel in “Pharcel” that speaks of nobility even in a condition of African slavery, a quality oozing with every glistening bead of sweat on this young black boy’s body. It traverses that strange territory from adolescent sex to the vexatious shuffling of the spirit into self-awakening, to near death struggles, to rescue by the hand of God. And a new national hero is born, lighting a path through adversity and apparent hopeless difficulty to self-reclamation and self- affirmation through discovery of the universal nobility of purpose and spirit in the struggle for human freedom and dignity.
Alick Lazare is best known as a public servant and recently as a regional consultant in public sector finance and management. He has written and published several short stories, including Carib, and is the author of Nature Island Verses, a volume of poems published by The Writers Showcase (iUniverse) in 2001.
Pharcel is a historical novel that brings into play the politics of slavery, revolutionary fervour, sexual exploitation, inter-racial love, personal loyalty and betrayal, brought together in a gripping tale that will hold the reader’s attention and interest. Bernard Wiltshire described it as “a fast moving, gripping read, full of excitement and action that leaves one feeling that we have it in us to reach for the stars, to triumph over ourselves, to transform our limitations.”
Pharcel (ISBN 0-595-39578-3) is published by iUniverse and may be ordered direct from the publishers at 2021 Pine Lake Road, Suite 100, Lincoln, NE 68512, USA or from their website at www.iuniverse.com. The book runs to 312 pages, is attractively designed and priced at US$18.95 (cover price). A limited number of copies are available from local bookstores.
iUniverse provides individuals a simple, fast and affordable way to publish, market, and sell fiction and nonfiction books. The company is one of the largest book publishing companies in the United States.
iUniverse eliminates the necessity of massive print runs, dramatically shortens time-to-market, and gives authors control over when and how their works are published. iUniverse publishing programs are endorsed by industry leading author organizations, including the Authors Guild and the ASJA. iUniverse is a proud member of the Association of American Publishers, Publishers Marketing Association, and Small Publishers Association of North America. The company's major investors include Warburg Pincus and Barnes & Noble.
Tel: 767 448 3159
e-mail: [email protected]