Bon Anniversaire, Île en île!

On October 12, 2011, Île en île—web site and public archive of Francophone literary production—celebrates its 13-year anniversary. Lisa and I wish to congratulate founder and principal editor, Thomas C. Spear (professor of French, Lehman College/The Graduate Center-CUNY) for thirteen years of dedication to this valuable project.

Description: Île en île has been a pioneering site in the francophone world. A database of literature from the world’s French-speaking islands, the site presents (as of today) 258 authors with reliable, in-depth biographies, bibliographies, web links, excerpts of poetry and prose fiction, and audio and video recordings. Online since 1998, this encyclopedic database features well-known as well as little-known authors, and brings the literature of underrepresented regions, peripheral hubs of any real or expanding “center” of the Paris publishing industry, to the attention of an international audience.

The authors presented in the database are from three major regional areas, and from their diaspora: the Caribbean (Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Haiti, Martinique), the Indian Ocean (the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Réunion) and the South Pacific (New Caledonia and Polynesia).

Since 2000, Île en île has been listed on the NEH EDSITEment site listing “The Best of the Humanities on the Web.” It was recognized several times as “Internet site of the week,” including on Radio France Internationale (2001) and in the French daily Le Monde (2004), and has been featured in newspapers in the islands (Haiti, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, Tahiti) and elsewhere, as with Le Magazine Littéraire (Paris) and La Presse (Montreal). In 2005, it was awarded the “Trophée de la diversité culturelle” by France’s Minister of Culture.

For access to site, go to

For more on editor and founder Thomas Spear, see /and

[Illustration by Jiména Tello from Jean-Marc Wollscheid’s Lettre à Josephine: Fables des Îles (forthcoming post).]

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