Additional Reviews of Huracan
No novel I’ve recently encountered wrestles so earnestly — and so movingly — with the ethical dimensions of what Alfred López calls “bourgeois imperial whiteness” than . Despite this evident ambition, however, McCaulay’s measured voice seldom slips into diatribe. Like so many of us, she just wants to discover, intimately, the true nature of her ancestry — a task made more difficult by the notorious fissures and absences which govern the Caribbean archive. Though she takes her partial knowledge for granted, one can feel McCaulay sigh a breath of relief at discovering her worst fears are unfounded: her ancestors were slaveowners. If not such villains, then, her novel asks, who were her ancestors, really, fundamentally? Stephen Narain, Los Angles Review of Books
Diana McCaulay’s Huracan is a deceptive novel, a hauntology. This intergenerational story is so deftly woven and fluidly told that you quite forget the weight of the history underlying it. Shifting between narratives set roughly a hundred years apart, the novel opens in 1986 with the return of its protagonist from foreign shores to the land of her birth after an absence of fifteen years.
As Leigh McCaulay, the contemporary protagonist of Huracan, soon discovers, “bad things could happen even though the fences ran around the base of a hill and your house was right on top” . As she tries to slip back into the Jamaica she left as a fifteen-year-old, Leigh is confronted at almost every turn by her foreignness, born not merely from having been away so long but also because of her status as a minority: “White Gal!” shouts a bystander as she’s driven home from the airport. And thereupon hangs this tale. Annie Paul, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston
Huracan is a courageous novel. McCaulay's deft characterizations and ability to weave of plot lines across two centuries demonstrate her talents as a remarkable storyteller and witness to uncomfortable truths. Huracan reminds us that in the midst of slavery there were individuals who were willing to transgress the boundaries of the color line and claim their humanity--a lesson that Leigh McCaulay learns in the present and which sets her free. Geoffrey Philp.