Myriam Warner-Vieyra (translated by Betty Wilson). New edition from Waveland Press.
In this powerful and moving novel, Myriam Warner-Vieyra sensitively portrays the complexities of cross-cultural relationships and, in particular, the female predicament. When Helene, a self-reliant career woman, is packing her belongings for a move and imminent marriage for which she is reluctant, she unearths a faded old book. It is the diary of young Juletane, a confused, sheltered West Indian woman struggling to find herself. Written over three weeks, it records her short life: childhood in France, marriage to an African student, and an eager return with him to Africa, the land of her ancestors. It is Juletane’s diary that brings her and Helene together.
Juletane does not fit into her husband’s traditional African family, especially the Muslim cultural demands of polygamy. Full of gentle ironies, Juletane is a story about alienation, madness, shattered dreams: the disillusioned West Indian outsider’s disenchantment with Africa. Myriam Warner-Vieyra looks at women’s lives, at the paths they have taken, at the possibilities open to women in the Caribbean, in Africa, in life. She forces readers, through the double narrative of Juletane and Helene, to reexamine easy assumptions, to look again at safe generalizations.
Includes valuable Introduction 2014 by the translator.
You can order a copy at