New Book: Man Doudou, Femme Maîtresse

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Mesmine Donineaux’s Man Doudou, Femme Maîtresse has just been published by Editions de L’Harmattan in their memoir and testimonial narrative series, Graveurs de Mémoire.

The plot takes place in 1919. It tells the story of Suzanne, a 12 year old girl from Marie-Galante (small island in the Guadeloupean archipelago), who is placed by her mother to work at a house in Petit-Bourg, Guadeloupe. Working from sunrise to sunset, Suzanne begins her long apprenticeship under the tutelage and maternal care of her older cousin and the vigilant eye of her mistress, who trains her to be “a perfect little cordon bleu.” However, she is not spared from the whippings to which her mistress’ brother submits her with his riding crop. Marked by years of domestic adventures, she returns to Marie-Galante four years later. The many men she meets may not be ready to satisfy her quest for love.

In 1928, the birds suddenly flee the shores of Marie-Galante. What does their flight signs foretell? Church and schools bells begin ringing from one end of the island to the other.  Is it a warning for a natural disaster, a war? Suzanne soon discovers the answers.

Mesmine Donineaux holds a Master’s degree in Business Law and teaches Economics and Business Management. In 2002, she edited a bilingual (French-Creole) album, Ti-Jean et sa Sœur.

For description and purchasing information, see

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