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Telling (Her)story

Title: Telling (Her)story: Voicing the Past in Contemporary Haitian Fiction.
Name(s): Sapp, Robert, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Journal Article
Date Issued: 2019-12-31
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: In her work Framing Silence (1997), Myriam J. A. Chancy posits that Haitian women writers redefine the status quo rather than depend on a unified understanding of Haitian culture to write their narratives. According to Chancy Haitian women writers offer a feminized version of Haitian History where fiction serves as a conduit for historical discourse that either silences women or refuses to tell their story. Drawing from Chancy’s study of authors who create a space for female voice within a Haitian history that has denied female expression, this paper considers the telling of history in the novels of two contemporary Haitian women writers. In Le Livre d’Emma (2001) and Bain de Lune (2014), Marie-Célie Agnantand Yanick Lahens employ an intermediary in the narrative to uncover the silenced voice of a female protagonist. In Le Livre d’Emma, the eponymous character has been silenced by a paternalistic society that ignores women that speak too loudly and too often. Diagnosed as mentally unsound, Emma relies on Flore, a translator, to tell her story and transmit the historical narrative she has uncovered. In Bain de Lune, a spectral first-person narrator is used to speak for a young woman whose body is found washed ashore. Through a close reading and comparison of these two novels, this paper uncovers the specific narrative devices used by Agnant and Lahens to bring to light feminine voices from the past and considers what these approaches suggest about Haitian women and their relationship to the past.
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1578592525_9a68d84f (IID)
Publication Note: Selected essay from the Women In French International Conference 2018
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Women in French Studies Special Conference Issue.

Choose the citation style.
Sapp, R. (2019). Telling (Her)story: Voicing the Past in Contemporary Haitian Fiction. Women In French Studies Special Conference Issue. Retrieved from