Maryse Condé

Maryse Conde has passed away.

Guadalupian novelist, critic, and playwright Maryse Conde passed away in France today, Tuesday, April 2, 2024.

Maryse Condé was a novelist, critic, and playwright born in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe in 1937. She studied at the Université de Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle), where she took her doctorate in Comparative Literature (1975). Her research was on Black stereotypes in Caribbean literature. For twelve years, she lived in West Africa: Guinea, Ghana, and Senegal, where she taught French at various levels. She returned to France in 1973 to teach Francophone Literature at Paris VII (Jussieu), X (Nanterre), and III (Sorbonne Nouvelle). She also taught francophone literature at The New Sorbonne, Nanterre, Jussieu, UC Berkley, The University of Virginia, The University of Maryland, Harvard, and Columbia.

Her novels written in French but translated into many languages explored the African diaspora that resulted from slavery and colonialism in the Caribbean. They included the ten novels Hérémakhonon (1976), Une saison à Rihata (1981), Ségou: les murailles de terre (1984), Ségou: la terre en miettes (1985), Moi, Tituba, Sorcière…Noire de Salem (1986), La Vie scélérate (1987), Traversée de la mangrove (1989), Les Derniers rois mages (1992), La Colonie du nouveau monde (1993), La Migration des coeurs (1995), Desirada (1997), Célanire cou-coupé (2000), La Belle créole (2001), Historie de la femme cannibal (2003), Les Belles ténébreuses (2008), En attendant la montée des eaux (2010), Le Fabuleux et triste destin d’Ivan et d’Ivana (2017), and L’Évangile du nouveau monde (2021). She also wrote numerous plays, short stories, and of essays and articles on African and Caribbean literature. 

She was given many awards for her work with honours like the New Academy Prize in Literature in 2018, the Carbet de la Caraïbe Prize, the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction, and the Prix Mondial Cino Del Duca 2021. Watchers of the African literary space will recall that Conde was the headliner of the Ake Arts and Book Festival in 2020 underlining the importance of her work to the continental canon.

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