New Book: Daniel Boukman’s Pawol Fonmi-fol

Daniel Boukman’s Pawol Fonmi-fol, with illustrations by Emmanuel Baker, has been published by Editions Moubaya. This brief but rich collection of Creole fables will be available at the end of this month (February). In his preface to Boukman’s new work, Raphaël Confiant writes:

Daniel Boukman differs from other Creole fabulists insofar as his texts rely heavily on the unsaid, the implied, and subtle irony, all the while remaining radically committed. Indeed, he does not merely distil an accepted ethic (solidarity, loyalty, etc.) but he knows how to highlight our faults, our double language, our social hypocrisy, in order to see the ridiculous and the perverse sides all at the same time.

The Boukmanian fable is located between the Japanese “haiku” and traditional fable; between Creole storytelling and socio-political satire; between the long ago nursery rhyme and what A. Césaire calls “the deep song of what is never hidden,” that dull pain that has traversed generations for centuries and that nothing has been able to appease. Therefore one should not read Boukman at face value. Behind the apparent simplicity of the texts hides an uncompromising questioning of our reality and behind their bitter irony, a little melody of hope.

Daniel Boukman, whose real name is Daniel Blérald, was born in 1936. He is a poet, dramatist, educator, and journalist from Martinique. Influenced by Frantz Fanon, in 1962 he went to work in Algeria. Boukman, a critic of négritude from a Marxist standpoint, is best known for a polemical play on migration, Les Négriers (1971). He has over 20 works to his name and is the creator of “Tout lang sé sang,” which offers propose businesses, institutions, and individuals, translation services from French to Creole, and Creole to French, editing, as well as courses in introduction to Creole.

For reviews (in French), see and

For full biography (and photo), see

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