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Patrick Chamoiseau

Patrick Chamoiseau (b 1953, Martinique) is a French-language author who has been a leading figure in the créolité (Creoleness) literary movement.

After studying in Paris, he returned home to Martinique, where his writing has frequently been inspired by Creole culture. His 1989 publication, Eloge de la créolité, was the catalyst for the créolité movement, a celebration of the diversity and strength of French Caribbean culture.

In 1992, Chamoiseau’s novel Texaco received the Prix Goncourt, France’s most prestigious literary award. It was also selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and described in The Mail & Guardian as “the work of a genius”. Nearly three decades on, his reputation as one of the most innovative and powerful contemporary French-language writers is assured.

A writer who has the sophistication of the modern novelist, and it is from that position (as an heir of Joyce and Kafka) that he holds out his hand to the oral prehistory of literature.

Milan Kundera on Patrick Chamoiseau

A masterpiece, the work of a genius, a novel that deserves to be known as much as Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth and Cesaire’s Return to My Native Land.

Percy Zvomuya, Mail & Guardian, on Texaco
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