New Book: Kettly Mars’ “Je suis vivant”


Haitian writer Kettly Mars has published a new novel Je suis vivant (Mercure de France 2015). Je suis vivant [I am alive] will be presented at several bookstores in France this month: May 19 at 6:00pm at Librairie L’Armitière in Rouen; and May 20 at 7:00pm at Librairie Le Divan (203 rue de la Convention), Paris 15e, with Roger Tavernier (Editions Zellige). Mars will be a guest at the Étonnants Voyageurs book festival in Saint-Malo; the festival runs from May 23 to 25, 2015.

Description: At eighty-six years old, Eliane had to stand up and face her personal nightmare. Fortunately, her children were there around her. They were shaken but were also present and attentive—children who, for a long time, had no longer been children. But Eliane remained the mother; the one who always reacted first; the one who had ideas, who found the solutions. Already, she wrestled with her emotions. She was going to fight.

Following the upheaval caused by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Alexandre, interned for many years, can no longer be supported by the institution that cares for him. In two days, his family must get ready to welcome him back home. Eliane, the indefatigable matriarch, brings together her children and puts everything in order to take in this long-absent son to live among them, almost unknown for some of them. . .

Alexandre will therefore learn again how to live with his family and vice versa. His presence will change everyone’s lives; act as a sounding board to his brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and cousins; and bring to the surface happy or bitter memories and hidden emotions … Not even the domestic help in this family will be spared by the new winds blowing over the household.

Kettly Mars was born in 1958 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she lives. She is the author of several novels including Saisons sauvages and Aux frontières de la soif.

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