The Institut du Tout-Monde recently announced the publication of Monique Arien-Carrère’s La Trace. Agouzou, femme esclave (Éditions de l’Institut du Tout-Monde, January 2021).
Description (from Institut du Tout-Monde): An important book, in our opinion, because La Trace will constitute a milestone in the contemporary memory of slavery, given that the book is the first literary account written about this singular experience lived by thousands of descendants. [It is remarkable due to] the research—and then the discovery in the Antillean archives—of the act of individuality of the ancestor, “appointed” by the state after the abolition of slavery in the French colonies in 1848. This is the story of a destiny, where history joins and sheds light on the disorders and taboos of the present.
The work stems from both quest and confrontation. It offers us the partly-autobiographical journey of its author, Monique Arien-Carrère who also had, one day in February 2012, this experience of the discovery—both brutal and luminous—of the act of individuality of her ancestor Agouzou, named Antoinette Arien in the French civil registry on January 1, 1849. It is a story in which the restitution of the quest for identity is mixed with the confrontation with an unarticulated past, but also with what may remain “unspoken” in the family context, and the construction of a personal itinerary, which is also a challenge.
[Description translated by Ivette Romero.] For more information, see https://editionsitm.com/latraceagouzou/