Set in late-18th century Haiti, Dance on the Volcano follows the extraordinary career of Minette, who uses her prodigious voice to cross racial barriers. Her talent brings her an opportunity to perform at the Theater of Port-au-Prince, an honor previously reserved only for whites. However, once the curtain falls she finds herself back to life as normal. Praised but unpaid, applauded but shut out, Minette develops a political and racial conscience that won’t rest as long as slavery still exists on the island. Her involvement soon leads her to butt heads with the man she loves, a freed black man as cruel to his slaves as many white landholders, and to cross paths with the future heroes of the revolution.
Born in Port-au-Prince in 1916, Marie Vieux-Chauvet is widely considered one of the greatest writers of the francophone Caribbean. Dance on the Volcano is the second of her works to be published in English.