Preface
Bitter Sugar's Island
"But we can't go in," Chacko explained, "because we've been locked out. And
when we look in through the windows, all we see are shadows. And when we try
and listen, all we hear is a whispering. And we cannot understand the whispering,
because our minds have been invaded by a war. A war that we have won and lost.
The very worst sort of war. A war that captures dreams and re-dreams them. A war
that has made us adore our conquerors and despise ourselves.
"We're Prisoners of War," Chacko said. "Our dreams have been doctored. We
belong nowhere. We sail unanchored on troubled seas. We may never be allowed
ashore. Our sorrows will never
be sad enough. Our joys never happy enough. Our
dreams never big enough. Our lives never important enough. To matter."
Arundhati Roy,
The God of Small Things
This book is about the political history of my country, Reunion
Island, and about emancipatory discourses developed there, about
their power to shape reality, the possibilities they offered to, and
the limits they imposed on, the population of a small island in the
Indian Ocean. As the island's political history has been, since the
1930S,
intimately tied to the history of my family, this book is also
about members of my family. I do not underestimate the difficulty
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