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Conversation with Dany Laferrière

One thing is certain: you never get bored with Dany Laferrière. First Haitian and first Quebecer called to the prestigious Académie Française, he sits in chair no. 2, once occupied by Alexandre Dumas, another Caribbean-born author. His first novel, How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired, appeared in Quebec in 1985. Dany Laferrière won the Prix Médicis in 2009 with L’enigme du retour. With Laferrière, “the Academy opens to the whole Francophonie,” says Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, perpetual secretary of the French Academy. A member like no other… let’s listen!

Joëlle Vitiello, associate professor and department chair in French Literature at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She teaches 20th century French Literature, Francophone Studies, Cultural Trends in Contemporary France, and French at all levels. Her specialization is in contemporary writing by women. She co-organized the first international Women In French Conference. She co-edited Elles écrivent des Antilles with Susanne Rinne (1997) on Haitian literature, as well as numerous publications on the representations of female friendship in francophone literature, Andrée Chedid, Colette Nys-Mazure, and North African Women writers.