Joseph Zobel

Black Shack Alley

Black Shack Alley

Summary

Following in the tradition of Richard Wright's Black Boy, Joseph Zobel's semi-autobiographical 1950 novel Black Shack Alley chronicles the coming-of-age of José, a young boy grappling with his identity in colonial Martinique.

As José transitions from childhood to young adulthood and from rural plantations to urban Fort-de-France on a quest for upward mobility, he bears witness to and struggles against the various manifestations of white supremacy, both subtle and overt, that will alter the course of his life. Zobel's masterpiece, the basis for the award-winning film Sugar Cane Alley, is a powerful testament to twentieth-century life in Martinique, with a foreword by award-winning Martinican author Patrick Chamoiseau.