Autofiction and Advocacy in the Francophone Caribbean (Hardback)Renee Larrier
Hardback Published: 15/10/2006
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Larrier breaks new ground in analyzing first-person narratives by five Francophone Caribbean writers - Joseph Zobel, Patrick Chamoiseau, Gisele Pineau, Edwidge Danticat, and Maryse Conde - that manifest distinctive interaction among narrators, protagonists, characters, and readers through a layering of voices, languages, time, sources, and identities. Employing the Martinican combat dance - danmye - as a trope, the author argues that these narratives can be read as testimony to the legacy of slavery, colonialism, and patriarchy that denied Caribbean people their subjectivity. In chapters devoted to Zobel, Chamoiseau, Pineau, Danticat, and Conde - who come from Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Haiti - Larrier probes the presence, construction, and strategy of the first-person narrator, which sometimes shifts within the text itself. Providing a perspective different from European travel literature, these texts deliberately position the "I" as a witness and/or performer who articulates experiences ignored or misinterpreted by sojourners' more widely circulated chronicles. While not purporting to speak for others, the "I" is concerned with transmitting what he or she saw, heard, experienced, or endured, therefore disrupting conventional representations of the Francophone Caribbean. Moreover, in modeling authenticity and agency, autofiction is also a form of advocacy.
Publisher: University Press of Florida