As one of the most prominent voices from and about the French Caribbean, Gisèle Pineau has garnered significant scholarly attention; however, this interest has culminated in precious few volumes devoted entirely to the author and her work. In response to this lack of in-depth critical attention, Reimagining Resistance in Gisèle Pineau’s Works brings together a range of perspectives from both sides of the Atlantic and across the Pacific to explore the unique ways in which Gisèle Pineau’s works redefine the concept of resistance, particularly as it relates to gender, race, history, and Antillean identity. As this volume ultimately demonstrates, resistance holds up a mirror to the political, economic, and cultural forces that have shaped the past, construct the present, and build the future. It argues that Pineau’s characters open the narrative frame for reading them and move us beyond the categories of the wholly defiant or the inherently complicit. Above all, as they invite us to reimagine resistance, they expose our expectations and hopefully shift our understanding about what it means to rise and to fall in a world we seek to call our own.
Lisa Connell is professor of french at the University of West Georgia.
Delphine Gras is associate professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Introduction, Lisa Connell and Delphine Gras
Chapter One: Resistance and Rebellion in Gisèle Pineau’s “Paroles de terre en larmes,” Antonia Wimbush
Chapter Two: Cyclones, Cycles, and Spirals—Storm, Sex, and Spaces of Resistance in Gisèle Pineau’s L’Espérance-macadam, Alicia Doyen-Rodríguez
Chapter Three: Resisting Genre: Auto-fictional Practices in Folie, aller simple. Journée ordinaire d’une infirmière by Gisèle Pineau, Ann-Sofie Persson
Chapter Four: Silences and Beyond in Gisèle Pineau’s Fleur de Barbarie and Les Voyages de Merry Sisal, Orane Onyekpe-Touzet
Chapter Five: Photographing the Caribbean: Visual Imagination in Gisèle Pineau’s Femmes des Antilles, Viviana Pezzullo
Chapter Six: Places of Paradise: Rewriting Mythic Women through Caribbean Garden Spaces, Lisa Connell
Chapter Seven: A Crime with No Victim? Resisting Prejudices and Structural Racism in Gisèle Pineau’s Le parfum des sirènes, Delphine Gras
Chapter Eight: Rehabilitating the Guadeloupean Adrienne Fidelin: Pineau Rights History in Ady, soleil noir, Bonnie Thomas
About the Contributors
This volume is a welcome and long-overdue tribute to a prolific and distinguished writing career. Adeptly conceived and thoughtfully assembled, the collection takes the reader on an illuminating journey from Pineau’s first published story, the winning entry in a 1986 writing competition, to her arresting 2021 novel dramatizing the life of Guadeloupean dancer Adrienne Fidelin. Going well beyond the usual corpus of the writer’s best-known works, the contributors pay homage to the remarkable breadth of Pineau’s oeuvre, offering a prismatic reading of Black women’s resistance across history and genre. Highly recommended for all scholars and teachers of Caribbean women’s literature.
Reimagining Resistance in Gisèle Pineau’s Works will undoubtedly become an essential reference. Lisa Connell and Delphine Gras have gathered well-researched and compelling chapters which reveal the multifaceted ways French Caribbean women wield power and express their agency within oppressive structures of domination. Seven thought-provoking contributions allow us to travel often less trodden paths that reveal the intricate ways resistance expresses itself in postcolonial contexts.
Much anticipated, this volume offers a rich critical journey into Gisèle Pineau’s body of work. Readers will experience a captivating hiatus into the intersectional identities and negotiations of characters whose praxis of pain and/or pleasure is unearthed within robust studies that expose their strategies of survival. Pineau’s smearing of socio-cultural conventions is brilliantly contextualized with a refreshing boldness that offers better understanding of the emergence of an Afra Caribbean writing calling for the embodied and Reimagined Resistance of our “other” presence in the world, memory, and Herstory.