Childhood by Patrick Chamoiseau

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews



Using the playful, orally inspired, and partially invented language for which he is renowned, Patrick Chamoiseau recalls the brilliant, magical universe of his early childhood in Martinique. At the center of this universe is his extraordinarily vigorous mother and her creative, pragmatic ways of coping with poverty and five children. As Chamoiseau presents these first impressions of an exceptional child growing up in a rich Creole culture, he also reflects in oblique but incisive ways on colonialism. He probes the boundary between reality and imagination, between the child’s awakening understanding and the adult’s memory of those earlier days.

About Patrick Chamoiseau

See more books from this Author
Published February 1, 1999 by University of Nebraska Press. 128 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Childhood

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

There is the boy’s holy war, fed by rocks and matches, against insects and rats, which ends when he realizes he cannot kill an aging rat, which he calls the Old Man: “They [the rats] transformed the little boy’s nature.

| Read Full Review of Childhood

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Novelist Chamoiseau's second memoir (after School Days) evokes his early childhood, beginning with the rainy night his mother (whom he refers to as the Prime Confidante) walked to the midwife's house to give birth to him, an incident he claims is responsible for his ""melancholic weakness for rai...

| Read Full Review of Childhood

Now, looking back, Chamoiseau introduces us to the people behind that idea -- the country-bred figure of his neighbor Jean-Yvette, for example, whose spellbinding ni...

| Read Full Review of Childhood

Project MUSE

In the original, Chamoiseau refers to the child he was as "le négrillon," which Volk chose to translate as "the little boy" though she could have used the Caribbean English "pickney."

| Read Full Review of Childhood

Rate this book!

Add Review