The Salon du Livre de Montreal, the prestigious Canadian book fair, takes place on November 20-25, 2013. Haiti is the featured country at this year’s fair.
Many Haitian writers or writers of Haitian origin—novelists, short story writers, poets, essayists, historians, and thinkers—will be present at the Haiti Pavilion, for book signings and public lectures. Among them are Gary Victor, Yanick Lahens, James Noël, Kettly Mars, Joël Des Rosiers, Joujou Turenne [shown above], Marie-Célie Agnant, and Dany Laferrière. More than 800 titles will be on the shelves, covering 200 years of literary and intellectual production, something never before seen, as Rodney Saint-Éloi (author and editor of Mémoire d’encrier) asserts.
The meeting of “fire and cold”
For Mr. Saint-Éloi, the fact that Haiti was the first country to be honored this way at the Book Fair in Montreal reflects the special status of Haitian literature, “embedded” in the heart of Quebecois literature. He explains the special relationship between these two literatures through the fact that many writers, when they fled the terror years of Duvalier, chose to settle in Quebec and, particularly, in Montreal. According to Saint-Éloi, from this “meeting of fire and cold” a unique Haitian-Quebecois literature was born.
Among the events not to be missed are the following: on Wednesday, November 20, at 10:15pm, there will be a storytelling session for children, ages 6 to 9, led by Joujou Turenne. The same day at 5:00pm, in the context of official opening of the fair, there will be a launch for the highly anticipated Bonjour voisine! [Hello, Neighbor], a collective gathering 51 Quebecois and Haitian authors.
Finally, on Saturday, November 23, at 12:00 noon, in conjunction with the current exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilizations [Musée canadien des civilisations], there will be a public discussion about Vaudou between sociologist Laënnec Hurbon and Mauro Peressini, curator at the museum.
[Many thanks to Thomas Spear for bringing this item to our attention.]