New Book: Christopher Hebert’s “The Boiling Season”

Christopher Hebert’s first novel The Boiling Season (HarperCollins 2012) will hit the shelves at the end of this month. In this novel, an ambitious young man struggles to define himself and his future in a Caribbean nation plunged into violent revolution. Madison Smartt Bell (author of All Souls’ Rising) has called the novel “Hypnotically fascinating.” He writes, “It’s remarkable to see an American novel so profoundly steeped in the tradition of the great Haitian writers of the twentieth century.”

Description: Having spent his childhood trapped in the slums of a politically volatile Caribbean island, Alexandre dreams of escape. Within only a few years, he rises from being a valet for an important politician to becoming a caretaker for a derelict estate purchased by a wealthy foreign businesswoman. While the rest of the country copes with the rise of a brutal dictator, Alexandre flees to his new home in the remote mountains outside the capital. There he oversees the restoration of a manor house and gardens that evoke for him an innocent, unspoiled past.

When his new employer sees a chance to turn the estate into something more—a decadent, jet-setting resort—Alexandre views the undertaking as the culmination of his dreams. Eager to lose himself in the creation of this opulent Eden, Alexandre severs the last links to his unhappy past, including his family and friends. But as the outside world starts to crumble around him, Alexandre must face the limits of the utopia he has created. Soon he is trapped in the middle of a war he has tried to ignore, and discovers he will have to choose between preserving the estate he loves and protecting the people he has spent his life trying to escape.

Christopher Hebert holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan, where he was awarded its prestigious Hopwood Award for Fiction. He teaches at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

For purchasing information, see

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