'A beautifully crafted tale of how small loves can grow into the big ones, often quite unexpectedly.’ The Irish Times
A prize-winning author's magical realist fable about greed and corruption in Venezuela, Black Sugar gives a fascinating view of the country's social and economic development throughout the twentieth century through the story of a family of sugarcane growers. It tells of buried treasure and the legendary privateer Henry Morgan.
On the edge of the Latin American rainforest, the Oteros family farm sugar cane in their remote corner of the earth.
Cut off entirely from the modern world, life is peaceful, uneventful. Until, that is, a succession of ships arrive in search of Henry Morgan’s legendary lost treasure, said to be buried deep beneath the forest floor.
Soon, the isolated villagers are exposed to all the trappings of modernity, while the travellers’ search for booty unearths more than anybody could have anticipated…
And so it was that the treasure lay buried amid scraps of sail and a pirate’s corpse, preserved within the belly of the Caribbean…
‘Gallic Books have a lovely knack for publishing quirky and engaging novels, often compact and always accessible. Miguel Bonnefoy continues that tradition with his intriguing second novel, Black Sugar. With a pitch-perfect translation by Emily Boyce, this is a beautifully crafted tale of how small loves can grow into the big ones, often quite unexpectedly.’ The Irish Times
‘Its lyricism and vivid descriptions of a tropical landscape make it worth stopping by for.’ The Big Issue
‘An astonishing novel about the rise and fall of a family over time… Black Sugar is not to be missed.’ Portland Review of Books
‘Simply written, Miguel Bonnefoy’s story almost reads like a fable, weaving themes of greed and corruption into a pirate drama.’ World Literature Today
‘Bonnefoy’s French and South American heritage infuse the novel, it combines the best of the European tradition and magical realism. It’s a mix of folklore and exotic storytelling. Rich in description, lyrical, elegant and fantastical.’ Nudge Magazine
‘Entirely satisfying (…) Black Sugar holds its own in the Latin American magical-realism tradition.’ Foreword Reviews
‘Black Sugar comes out at a time when Venezuela is in the news for violence and turmoil. But Bonnefoy’s prose bursts with pride for the region and its people, particularly the farms and farmers. At the same time, he acknowledges the colonizing forces that fomented unrest, whose influence is felt today as the country destabilizes. It’s an important book to read right now, for even though it’s fantastical fiction, it gives the reader context for the next headline.’ Necessary Fiction
‘Black Sugar is a beautiful generational saga akin to One Hundred Years of Solitude or The House of the Spirits … Bonnefoy never loses his own voice and continues to write with strokes of brilliant colours and sounds.’ The Book Bag
‘Rich in sensuous imagery and wonderful descriptions.’ Trip Fiction
‘Black Sugar stands out as one of the beautiful surprises of this autumn … Here, everything is lived to the full, love passion and desire for power, fidelity and ambition.’ L’Express
Praise for Octavio's Journey:
'An unforgettable new voice' Le Soir
‘A wonderful debut’ Libération
‘Simply magical’ Elle
‘A masterfully composed poetic and picaresque fable’ Le Figaro