New Translation: Patrick Chamoiseau’s “Crusoe’s Footprint”

[Many thanks to Anderson Tepper for announcing this new translation in Rethinking World Literature.] Patrick Chamoiseau’s Crusoe’s Footprint (2022), translated by Jeffrey Landon Allen and Charly Verstraet, is now available for pre-order from Caraf Books/University of Virginia.

Description: The discovery in Robinson Crusoe of the footprint of a fellow human on an abandoned island is a haunting and iconic moment in world literature. In the hands of Patrick Chamoiseau, one of the most innovative and lauded authors in the French language, this moment of shattered solitude becomes an occasion for Crusoe to reconsider his origins, existence, and humanity and for one of our most acclaimed novelists to craft a powerful meditation on race and history.

Chamoiseau’s novel contrasts two intertwining narratives—the log entries of a slave ship’s captain and the story of a castaway who awakens on a beach and must rebuild his entire world alone. Chamoiseau creates a new perspective on the Crusoe myth, not only injecting the slave trade and Creole history into this previously ahistorical tale but conceiving an intensely original, freeform prose influenced by Creole cadence. This powerful work by a literary master is available in English for the first time in this eloquent and vivid translation.

Patrick Chamoiseau is author of Texaco, winner of the Prix Goncourt and chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and, most recently, Slave Old Man.

Jeffrey Landon Allen is an independent scholar and translator.

Charly Verstraet is Assistant Professor of World Languages and Literatures at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

For more information, see

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