I’m getting towards the end of an edit of the Joe Island novel. Throughout the arc of the story there are a succession of occupiers of Greece: Italy, Germany, Britain, and then the USA. Each occupier thinks they are unique, but each operates to force the people of Greece to support its own agenda. And so the death-squad system used by the Nazis becomes adapted by the Americans by default. The USA says it only wishes to stop communism—the Greeks say they want to stop dying for American sins, that they want their own country back. They want to be free of the type of colonialism Americans fought in 1776. Is Joe a psychological colonialist, or is he simply a man without a country?
Still slogging through the end of the rough draft of my novel, Tesora. The plot must be complete for me to give it a rest, so there is yet no rest for me. It’s hard to finish a story that concerns slavery. And it’s hard to let go of characters I’ve grown to love. Stay tuned. I will finish it.
In a review in The NY Times it says that Esmeralda Santiago’s “Conquistadora” is a novel about a Puerto Rican plantation mistress. It’s set in mid-19th-century Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico was one of the last holdouts for slavery in the Americas, ending it in 1873, although slavery in Cuba wasn’t abolished until 1884. The novel’s heroine ends up a widow running a sugar plantation who becomes romantically involved with an overseer. She is a heroine, however, of mixed reviews: she was not above having her slaves tied to a tree and whipped when it profited her.