Lyonel Trouillot on Haiti and Haitian literature

About Guest:

Lyonel Trouillot was born in Port-au-Prince in 1956. Although several members of his family were lawyers and he studied law at university, he eventually identified and pursued a greater passion: writing. A poet, novelist, journalist, literary critic, and writer of song lyrics, Trouillot is a prolific member of the Haitian writing community. Several of his books have been published by the reputable Actes Sud, including Rue des Pas-Perdus (1998), Thérèse en mille morceaux (2000), Les Enfants des héros (2002), Bicentenaire (2004), L’Amour avant que j’oublie (2007), and Yavanlou pour Charlie (2009). In 2008, Trouillot wrote the accompanying text for Haïti, a collection of photographs of the island taken by American photographer Jane Evelyn Atwood. A letter exchange between Trouillot and the French writer Sophie Boutaud de la Combe entitled Lettres de loin en loin (2008) explores the gaps of nationality, gender, class, and power between France and its former colony of Haiti. Trouillot writes in both Creole and French and has published poetry in both languages. These collections include La petite fille au regard d'ile (1994), Eloge de la contemplation (2009), Depale (1979), and Zanj nan dlo (1995). He has been awarded several literary prizes, including the prestigious Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres de la France in 2010.

Monsieur Trouillot chose his favorite song as this episode’s closing music. When asked about his favorite singer, he replied, “Il y a Léo Ferré, et puis les autres.”

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