Neill Hall, Room 411
Thursday, November 14
Between Doubts and Uncertainties: Writing Memory
Marie-Celie Agnant is a Haitian writer of international reputation who immigrated to Quebec in 1970. She writes poetry, short stories, novels, and youth literature. She has taught French and worked as translator and interpreter.
Her first novel, La Dot de Sara (1995) is about Haitian women and immigration. Her second novel, The Book of Emma, is about race, slavery, memory and language, while the third, An Alligator Named Rosa, is about the impact of the repression during the Duvalierist dictatorship and confronting one's past. Her collection of short stories is both about the violence of the dictatorship and the tragedy of Haitian boat people emigrating in the hope of escaping systemic oppression.
Thursday, November 7
The Crisis of Current African Writing
Contemporary African writing is experiencing a tremendous renewal, with young and exciting writers coming in the forefront of the literary scene, very interesting books being written, some of which were awarded or nominated for some of the most prestigious literary awards. This happens at the same moment when the structures of publishing are going through a fundamental transition, with an ongoing professionalization of writing, through the impulse of creative writing programs, literary agencies and a sedentarization of African writers in Western, and particularly, American universities. And yet, astonishingly, African writing has seldom been as powerless as it is today in giving a voice to African stories.
Patrice Nganang – Cameroonian writer and scholar, an Associate Professor of literary and cultural theory at Stony Brook University. His publications include poetry: elobi, L’apologie du vandale; novels: La Saison des prunes, Temps de chien, La Joie de vivre, which constitute a cycle depicting city life; Mont plaisant and La Saison des prunes, a cycle about world wars (WWI, WWII, and the Civil war) as seen from a Cameroonian point of view; short novellas: L’Invention du beau regard and the serialized La Chanson du joggeur. He also published three collections of essays, Le Principe dissident, Manifeste d’une nouvelle literature africaine: Pour une ecriture preemptive and Contre Biya: Proces d’un tyran. His work has been translated into many languages and was distinguished with awards.
Tuesday, October 1
Theory of Remainders: A Novel
A suspenseful literary novel set in the lush backgrounds of Normandy, Theory of Remainders explores the secret ties between love, trauma, and language.
At 52, psychiatrist Philip Adler is divorced, alone, and gutted of passion. When a funeral draws him back to his ex-wife’s homeland of France, the trip reunites him with a trauma he has struggled to forget: the brutal death of his teenage daughter fifteen years earlier. Prodded by his former brother-in-law and stirred by the unspent embers of his marriage, he embarks on a mission to resolve lingering questions about this past, hoping to heal himself along the way. The search leads to a disturbed man who may hold more answers than anyone expects -- if only Philip can hear what he’s trying to say.
The Aesthetics of Fraudulence in 19th century France: Frauds, Hoaxes, and Counterfeits. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publications, 2009. Reading Lessons: An Introduction to Theory. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000. Carpenter is currently working on The Heart of Study Abroad, under contract with StylusPublishing.
A writer of both fiction and non-fiction, his short stories have appeared in such venues as Ducts, Prime Number, Chamber Four, The MacGuffin, Subtle Fiction, and The Carleton Voice. His collection, This Jealous Earth (MG Press 2013) has been broadly acclaimed, called “charmingly nostalgic” byPublisher’s Weekly. His debut novel, Theory of Remainders (Winter Goose Publishing) has been called "a stellar achievement” by Kirkus Reviews (starred review).