Guest Lecture: Patrick Chamoiseau
Le Sens et les sens/Sense and the Senses: International Colloquium for 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Studies
Goncourt prize-winning author Patrick Chamoiseau was born in Martinique and studied law and social economy in Paris before returning to his native land and exploring the Créolité of the Antilles. In 1989 he and Jean Bernabé and Raphaël Confiant published “Eloge de la créolité” as a response to the négritude movement of previous decades, arguing that Caribbean identity came not only from Africa but also from indigenous peoples, European colonialists, and East Indian and Chinese indentured servants. His first novel, Chronique des sept misères (1986), introduced a hybrid language accessible to readers in France but also suffused with sociological symbols of créole life. In 1992 he published his most acclaimed novel, Texaco (Prix Goncourt), which recounts the sufferings of three generations of a family in Martinique. Chamoiseau has also written a series of three autobiographical works and screenplays for several films. He received the honor of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres from the French government in 2010.