wednesday 5 march


(Maryse Condé, une voix singulière)

(dir Jérôme Sesquin, France, 2013, 52 min, French w/English subtitles)

Born in Guadeloupe in 1937, Maryse Condé published novels exploring the relationships between African peoples and the Diaspora, and led a distinguished academic career in France and the U.S. Interviews in Paris, New York, French Guiana, and the Caribbean, and archival footage. In observance of International Women’s Week.

Introduction by Dawn Fulton, Smith College.

7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management


Maryse Condé

“The language in which I write is neither French nor Creole. It is a language of my own. I write in Maryse Condé.” [France 5 website | Event poster]

Jérôme Sesquin and Maryse Condé bios [view/hide]

Photo of Jérôme SesquinJÉRÔME SESQUIN earned his diploma from the Centre Universitaire d’Enseignement du Journalisme in Strasbourg, and began his career on the editorial board of the French television channel France 2.  After collaborating on a number of television programs, he began writing and directing film and television documentaries, co-directing Noirs, l’identité au coeur de la question noire, (2006).

The subject of his most recent documentary, MARYSE CONDÉ is an award-winning novelist, playwright, and literary critic.  Photo of Maryse CondéOriginally from the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, she studied at the Sorbonne in Paris before spending a decade as a teacher and translator in Africa (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal).  She began her literary career in the 1970s with the completion of several plays and her first novel, Heremakhonon (1976), a trenchant look at post-independence African politics.  The publication of her historical novel Ségou (1984, 1985), a two-volume saga tracing the Bambara Empire of Mali, brought widespread popular and critical acclaim.  Condé has since published over a dozen additional novels, along with plays, short stories, children’s literature, and numerous critical articles.  She has held faculty positions at the University of Virginia, Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Columbia University.  Her numerous accolades include the Huston/Wright Legacy Award (2005), the Prix Tropiques (2007), and the Grand prix du roman métis (2010).

VIDEO: Maryse Condé, une voix singulière teaser [view/hide]

The documentary film is subtitled in English, although this teaser is not subtitled.

Dawn Fulton bio [view/hide]

DAWN FULTON is Associate Professor of French at Smith College where she teaches Women Writers of Africa and the Caribbean; Bilingualism in the Postcolonial Novels from Africa and the Americas; Gender and Madness; and Urban Spaces in Francophone Film.  Her research focuses on literature of the French Caribbean and Francophone literature of migration.  She  has published a book on the novels of Guadeloupean writer Marysé Conde entitled Signs of Dissent: Maryse Condé and Postcolonial Criticism (University of Virgina Press, 2008), and articles on literature of the Francophone Caribbean in such journals as Callaloo, Romanic Review, Studies in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Literature and French Forum on topics including Caribbean exile in Paris and noir narratives of immigration,  Leïla Sebbar, Gisèle Pineau,  and Michèle Lacrosil.  She is currently working on a project on urbanism in Francophone literature and film.