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My Mother, My Country

Reconstructing the Female Self in Guadeloupean Women’s Writing


Wendy Goolcharan-Kumeta

This study is an in-depth exploration of mother-daughter relationships in the texts of five Guadeloupean women writers, both celebrated and less known. The five authors whose texts are examined are Maryse Condé, Myriam Warner-Vieyra, Michèle Lacrosil, Jacqueline Manicom and Simone Schwarz-Bart. The author sets out to prove that in the realm of French Caribbean «female-centric» fiction, a disturbed or ruptured relationship with the biological mother results in the disintegration of the daughter’s psyche and self. The mother-daughter bond functions as a focus for the exploration of other significant themes, which include a quest for an identity and identity formation, intimately linked to the issue of history and origins. Difficult male-female relations and the demoralizing questions of race, class and culture differences are also explored.
Contents: Analysis of Guadeloupean women’s writing: Maryse Condé: En attendant le bonheur: Hérémakhonon, 1976 – Myriam Warner-Vieyra: Le Quimboiseur l’avait dit, 1980 – Michele Lacrosil: Cajou, 1961 – Jacqueline Manicom: Mon examen de blanc, 1972 – Simone Schwarz-Bart: Pluie et vent sur Télumée Miracle, 1972.