New Translation of Fernand Hibbert’s “Les Simulacres”


[Many thanks to Thomas Spear for sharing this news.] Deux Voiliers has just published a new translation of Fernand Hibbert’s Les Simulacres. Translated by Matthew Robertshaw (who previously translated Hibbert’s Romulus), the book is now available in English as Pretenders.

Description: Pretenders was originally published in French and Kreyòl in 1923 by Fernand Hibbert, a celebrated Haitian author, journalist and diplomat. Canadian translator Matthew Robertshaw has now made this, Hibbert’s last novel, available for the first time in English.

The story takes place eight years after the 1915 American invasion of Haiti. It revolves around a love affair between Céphise Cato and a foreigner, the Cuban Pablo Alcantara y Toro, with Céphise’s husband Hellénus standing by as the hapless cuckold. The trio comes across as a powerful indictment of the pretensions underpinning the American Occupation; the Haitian people are made impotent by the invading foreigners who take liberties with their homeland.

But Hibbert’s Pretenders, his Simulacra, are not only the Americans who presume to infringe upon Haitian sovereignty. He is famous as a critic of his own class, the Haitian bourgeoisie, as seen in his earlier novels. Pretenders is no exception. Hibbert takes aim at his compatriots who, by their indefatigable intrigues, allowed the Occupation to come about in the first place.

For more information on the translation, see

For information on the author, see




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