New Book—”Jean-Claude Charles: A Reader’s Guide”

Jean-Claude Charles: A Reader’s Guide, edited by Martin Munro and Eliana Vău, will be out this summer (June 2022). With a preface by Rodney Saint-Éloi, this collection includes contributions by Joëlle Vitiello, Eliana Vău, Vincent Joos, Jasmine Claude Narcisse, J. Michael Dash, John P. Walsh, Bonnie Thomas, Michaël Ferrier, Stève Puig, Alexis Chauchois and Gilles Glacet, Brigitte Tsobgny, Alba Pessini, Elvire Duvelle-Charles and Cécile Duvelle, Dany Laferrière, Thomas Spear, Edouard Duval-Carrié, and Martine Fidèle.

Description: Despite being a major figure of Haitian literature, Jean-Claude Charles (1949-2008) has received relatively little scholarly attention to date. The present volume seeks to serve as an introduction to the work and universe of this unique and capital writer to an English-language readership. The essays in the collection are organized along three major axes: contextual articles, placing Charles’ work within the larger Haitian literary landscape, punctual articles, addressing specific themes in a selection of Charles’ books, and author testimonials, attesting to Charles’ work’s importance both to his contemporaries and to a new generation of writers. With the ongoing republication of Charles’ work by Mémoire d’encrier in Montreal, and the increasing interest in the author, the proposed volume is timely and necessary, and is in large part a critical accompaniment to the republishing programme. Described by Dany Laferrière as “most brilliant Haitian author of his generation,” Charles has until recently remained largely unread and little understood. As the various chapters in the volume show, Charles is an author for now, and the collection will accompany readers seeking strikingly original insights on issues such as race, migration, and exile, and the role of the author and literature in times of crisis.

Martin Munro is Winthrop-King Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Florida State University, and the author of Different Drummers: Rhythm and Race in the Americas (University of California Press, 2010); Exile and Post-1946 Haitian Literature: Alexis, Depestre, Ollivier, Laferrière, Danticat (Liverpool University Press, 2007); and editor of Haiti Rising: Haitian History, Culture and the Earthquake of 2010 (Liverpool University Press, 2010).

Eliana Vău is Assistant Professor of French at Loyola University Chicago. Her research on francophone Caribbean literature and contemporary philosophy has appeared in journals such as FrancofoniaSites, and Francophonies d’Amérique. She is associate editor of the literary and art review intranQu’îllités.

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