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A Novel of Haiti

Lyonel Trouillot Gretchen Schmid

140 pages
Schaffner Press Inc
In this energetic celebration of Haiti and its capital in the early 2000s, Trouillot embodies the nation's indomitable spirit in the voice of his narrator. This anonymous, world-weary, 20-something male student keenly depicts a country entering a new era after years of dictatorship, oppression, corruption, and the chaos wrought by the most recent foreign arrivals: the international peace-keeping forces sent to restore order after the departure of the U.S. Marines, known as "the Big Boots." In a series of journal entries, the young protagonist introduces readers to his world within a world—a community center in Port-au-Prince peopled by a motley group of friends, lovers, revolutionaries, compatriots, dreamers, schemers, and mentors, all living under the watchful eye of Man Jeanne, the proprietress. Readers meet the "gang of five," among whom are two beautiful young women who work at the local bar, Kannjawou, and the men who pursue them; the wise older veterans scarred by the torture of past regimes; the nonchalant tourists and foreign officials who populate the bar; and the gentle mentor, rival in love, and father figure to the group, known lovingly to all as "the little professor." In KANNJAWOU Trouillot has penned a love song and a swan song to that era of dispersion for Haiti's people, who, even when they are far from home carry with them the kannjawou spiri
Author Bio
Lyonel Trouillot is a novelist and poet in French and Haitian Creole, as well as a journalist and professor of French and Creole literature in Port-au-Prince. In addition to publishing poetry, he also writes song lyrics for such musical artists as Tambou Libète and Manno Charlemagne. Trouillot is a co-editor of the journal Cahiers du Vendredi, and along with his sister Evelyne Trouillat and her daughter Nadève Ménard, he founded the writers organization Pré-Texte.[2] In 2014 he co-wrote, with Raoul Peck and Pascal Bonitzer, the script for Peck's feature film Murder in Pacot. Trouillot was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2010. For his novel La Belle Amour humaine, he was awarded the Grand Prix du Roman Métis (2011), the Geneva Book Fair Literary Prize (2012), and the Gitanjali Literary Prize (2012). Having lived in exile in Miami for several years, he has now returned to Haiti and lives in Port-au-Prince. Gretchen Schmid is an assistant editor at Penguin Books and the translator of Discovering the Hidden Wisdom of The Little Prince by Pierre Lassus. She lives in New York City.