Penn Book Center Reading Group, 2018
2017 changed the conversation for women. From the Women's March to #MeToo and everything beyond and in between, popular culture is coming to a reckoning and women's voices are raised louder and stronger than ever. In an era of growing political nationalism, we want to turn our ears to the words and voices of women beyond our land and language. From the Caribbean to South Africa to Northern Europe, here are women's voices that reverberate in and beyond our urgent moment.
All texts are from Archipelago Books, a not-for-profit literary press devoted to promoting cross-cultural exchange through innovative classics and contemporary international literature in translation.
All meetings will be on the third Saturday of the month at 3 pm. Coffee and snacks will be provided.
Dance on the Volcano, Marie Vieux-Chauvet (Haiti, French)
Love, Hanne Ørstavik (Norway, Norwegian)
Pearls on a Branch, ed. Najla Khoury (Lebanon, Arabic)
Incest, Christine Angot (France, French)
The First Wife, Paulina Chiziane (Mozambique, Portuguese)
Absolute Solitude: Poems, Dulce Maria Loynaz (Cuba, Spanish)
Moscow in the Plague Year: Poems, Marina Tsvetaeva (Russia, Russian)
The Expedition to the Baobab Tree, Wilma Stockström (South Africa, Afrikaans)
Dreams and Stones, Magdalena Tulli (Poland, Polish)
Cockroaches, Scholastique Mukasonga (Rwanda, French)
Angel of Oblivion, Maja Haderlap (Slovenia, German)
To Mervas, Elisabeth Rynell (Sweden, Swedish)
About Dance on the Volcano and Marie Vieux-Chauvet:
Set in late-18th century Haiti, Dance on the Volcano follows the extraordinary career of Minette, who uses her prodigious voice to cross racial barriers. Her talent brings her an opportunity to perform at the Theater of Port-au-Prince, an honor previously reserved only for whites. However, once the curtain falls she finds herself back to life as normal. Praised but unpaid, applauded but shut out, Minette develops a political and racial conscience that that will not rest as long as slavery still exists on the island. Her involvement soon leads her to butt heads with the man she loves, a free black man as cruel to his slaves as many white landholders, and to cross paths with the future heroes of the revolution.
Born in Port-au-Prince in 1916, Marie Vieux-Chauvet is widely considered one of the greatest writers of the francophone Caribbean. Dance on the Volcano, published January 2017, is the second of her works to be published in English.