"Suzanne Dracius, the renowned, prize-winning author from Martinique"

by Dr. James Davis, Ph. D., Western Carolina University
mercredi 19 mai 2010
popularité : 7%

Suzanne Dracius is
not only one of the foremost living writers from the French
Caribbean, she is also one of the most
brilliant people I have ever known. Her reputation has
grown over the years as has her literary production, and
after she won the Prix Fetkann twice and now the Prix de la
Société des Poètes Français this past year, her
reputation and interest in her work is about to explode even
more worldwide.

What’s passionately
unique about Suzanne’s writing is that she tackles thorny
subjects (generally, she addresses racial identity in
multiracial societies such as her native Martinique and
elsewhere and studies the dirty footprint left on native
peoples by colonialism and European hegemony) with the sharp
insight of someone well-trained in Classics and in the whole
canon of French literature. She appropriates Greek,
Latin, Old French stories and expressions and applies them
to unabashed, sexually-charged, politically-driven, biting
tales that are often painful, often ephemeral, often
shocking. Her protagonists are most often rebellious
women who fight against the injustices...at all moments in
history...of damning, harmful institutions that have sought
to demonize the "other" - be it an "other" based on racial
difference, gender. etc...set usually either in
Paris or in tropical Martinique.

Her works
are peppered with words in her native Creole, with tensely
crafted neologisms in French, and often refer to or rewrite
literary classics with auspicious, daring endings for the
"calazaza" (the light-skinned mulatto woman, a heroine in
her texts). There is immense, immense complexity in
her writings and rhetorical figures that will have literary
scholars engaged in deconstruction for decades to come, and
her work glows with so much of what is being currently
studied, argued, discussed in diaspora literary

Her beautiful novel L’autre qui danse
(published in 1989) received acclaim worldwide ; a collection
of her short stories in English translation would most
certainly be well-received in American and British libraries
since such an intense interest has been born in the past
twenty years in Francophone fiction.

Born in
Martinique but raised in France, Suzanne has traversed two
separate worlds
through her writing : Europe’s ethnocentrism and
elitism collide violently with the social/racial injustices
in Martinique : she is raw, passionate, beautiful, angry,
outraged, cunning, brilliant, and insightful unlike any
other writer from the Caribbean that I have studied to
date. Moreover, she is one of only TWO famous women
writers from the Caribbean who write in French : her
predecessor Maryse Condé has now become richly sold
throughout the world and translated into multiple
languages. Suzanne’s work promises to generate great,
great interest as well. I could write for hours about
her, but I’d prefer to let her work speak for itself.

Dr. James Davis, Ph D., Western Carolina University

“Suzanne Dracius’s reputation and renown have grown steadily over the years. Hers is an important voice in French Caribbean literature, one that deserves to reach as wide an audience as possible. The combination of literary sophistication, historical accuracy, and feminist valorization makes this work a literary and cultural landmark.”

H. Adlai Murdoch, Tufts University.