Echo of Lions

Echo of Lions

by Barbara Chase-Riboud

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Again blending fact and fiction in what she calls a ``nonfiction novel,'' Chase-Riboud ( Sally Hemings ) chronicles an important chapter of American historywith uneven success. Senge Pieh is seized in Guinea, dragged in chains to Sierra Leone, locked up and illegally shipped to Cuba, sold as a slave called Joseph Cinque and reshipped with 53 fellow Africans on the Amistad. Though he manages to commandeer the vessel, Cinque is subsequently tricked by two crew members familiar with celestial navigation, and lands not in Africa, but off Sag Harbor, Long Island. Arrested, accused of murder on the high seas and piracy, Cinque and 38 others are imprisoned for years in Connecticut, finally tried, acquitted, then re-tried in the Supreme Court (where they are defended by ex-president John Quincy Adams) and, in a landmark decision, released. Cinque finally returns to a homeland decimated by the illegal slave trade. Didactic, repetitious, more history than fiction, this book, commemorating the 150th anniversary of Cinque's rebellion, is nonetheless a moving testament to the triumph of sheer survival and the tragic limitations of victory. Literary Guild alternate. (Feb.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
A fictional account of the celebrated antebellum Amistad affair. The Amistad was a Spanish slaver that appeared off the Long Island coast; it was in the hands of African slaves who had rebelled and seized the ship. Under American law, the Africans were put on trial for their lives in a case that eventually reached the Supreme Court. Chase-Riboud tells this story form a variety of perspectives: the revolt's leader; the Africans' translator (a former slave); former President John Quincy Adams, who argues their case before the Supreme Court. Less sensational than the author's Sally Hemings , this is just as scathing in its indictment of racial prejudice. As a novel, however, the book lacks drama, and the invective does not reveal personality.-- Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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1st ed

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