New Book: Drive. L’errance ensorcelée

Drive. L’errance ensorcelée (HC Editions, December 2009) [Drive. Bewitched Drifting] is new collection of short stories that present a literary treatment of the Creole theme of drive, a mental wandering that affects drifters suffering from hexes in Martinique. The stories go beyond the magic spell/curse explanation that gives an origin and meaning to the unacceptable, examining the lives of the abject, people haunted by crack, alcohol, affective and social ruptures—whose unquenched desires carry them to the edge of the abyss—and, in the process, interrogate society.

The editor’s review states that “In recent years, the increase in the numbers of those driven to aimless wandering by psychological distress and exclusion on the island, raises the question of the collective representation of the drive. These hampered, dislocated lives are indicative of a general malaise of which this abject drifting is one of the most poignant symptoms.”

Gerry L’Étang gathers nineteen Martinican writers who discuss this subject from magical or rational angles. Their stories, written in French or Creole, provide interpretations of this phenomenon and its tragedy. The writers are Alfred Alexandre, Auguste Armet, Jean-Pierre Arsaye, Dominique Aurélia, Jean Bernabé, Daniel Boukman, Nicole Cage-Florentiny, Raphaël Confiant, Fernand Tiburce Fortuné, Serghe Kéclard, Gerry L’Étang, Thierry L’Étang, Lévi of the Tik, André Lucrèce, Philippe Montjoly, Louis-Félix Ozier-Lafontaine, Roger Parsemain, Éric Pezo, and Jean-Marc Rosier. Marie-Françoise Bernabé provided translations of the stories in Creole. 

For review (in French), see

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