A comprehensive introduction to five Caribbean writers and their confrontation with trauma
The Francophone Caribbean boasts a
trove of literary gems. Distinguished
by innovative, elegant writing and
thought-provoking questions of history
and identity, this exciting body of
work demands scholarly attention. Its
authors treat the traumatic legacies
of shared and personal histories
pervading Caribbean experience
in striking ways, delineating a path
towards reconciliation and healing.
The creation of diverse personal narratives-encompassing
autobiography, autofiction (heavily autobiographical fiction), travel
writing, and reflective essay-remains characteristic of many
Caribbean writers and offers poignant illustrations of the complex
interchange between shared and personal pasts and how they
affect individual lives.
Through their historically informed autobiography, the authors
in this study-Maryse Condé, Gisèle Pineau, Patrick Chamoiseau,
Edwidge Danticat, and Dany Laferriè re-offer compelling insights
into confronting, coming to terms with, and reconciling their past.
The employment of personal narratives as the vehicle to carry
out this investigation points to a tension evident in these writers'
reflections, which constantly move between the collective and the
personal. As an inescapably complex network, their past extends
beyond the notion of a single, private life.
These contemporary authors from Martinique, Guadeloupe,
and Haiti intertwine their personal memories with reflections on
the histories of their homelands and on the European and North
American countries they adopt through choice or necessity. They
reveal a multitude of deep connections that illuminate distinct
Francophone Caribbean experiences.
Bonnie Thomas, Perth, Australia, is a senior lecturer in French
studies at the University of Western Australia. She is author of
Breadfruit or Chestnut?: Gender Construction in the French Caribbean
Novel and has contributed to Nowhere Is Perfect: French and
Francophone Utopias/Dystopias. Her work has appeared in Portal:
Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, French Review,
Small Axe, and International Journal of Francophone Studies,
176 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, bibliography, index