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Schwarz-Bart, Simone (1938–)

Schwarz-Bart, Simone (1938–)

Simone Schwarz-Bart (b. 8 January 1938), Guadeloupean novelist and dramatist. Schwarz-Bart was born in Charente-Maritime, where her father was serving in the army. Her mother returned to Guadeloupe with her daughter, whose early schooling took place in Trois-Rivières. Schwarz-Bart began the lycée in Point-à-Pitre and finished in Paris. Married in Paris, Simone and André Schwarz-Bart spent a year in Dakar, and then settled in Switzerland, where Simone began writing short stories. Returning to Guadeloupe, she was instrumental in editing the encyclopedic Hommage à la femme noire, 6 vols. (1988–1989).

Schwarz-Bart has been compared with writers as diverse as Antonine Maillet and Toni Morrison. Through her presentation of various insular experiences (a Haitian sugarcane worker, an elderly Martinican woman in a French hospice) she would seem to be in the process of creating a Caribbean mythology in her dramatic and fictional writing. In 1973, she won the Grand Prize of the magazine Elle for her novel Pluie et vent sur Télumée-Miracle (1972)/The Bridge of Beyond (1982). All of her individually authored works have appeared in English. In 1992, the English translation of Between Two Worlds was published in English and Spanish. Between 2001 and 2004, the University of Wisconsin Press published four volumes of In Praise of Black Women in English translation. Schwarz-Bart currently lives in Lausanne, France, and Guadeloupe.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Un plat de porc aux bananes vertes (novel, with Andre Schwarz-Bart, 1967); Ti-Jean l'horizon (novel, 1979), translated as Between Two Worlds (1981); and Ton beau capitaine (play, 1987), translated as Your Handsome Captain (1989).

See also Ronnie Scharfman, "Mirroring and Mothering in Simone Schwarz-Bart's Pluie et vent sur Télumée-Miracle and Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea," in Yale French Studies 62 (1981): 88-106; Fanta Toureh, L'imaginaire dans l'oeuvre de Simone Schwarz-Bart: Approche d'une mythologie antillaise (1986); Elizabeth Mudimbe-Boyi, "Pluie et vent sur Télumée-Miracle," in Continental, Latin American, and Francophone Women Writers, edited by Ginette Adamson et al., vol. 2 (1987), pp. 155-164; Monique Bouchard, Une lecture de "Pluie et vent sur Télumée-Miracle …" (1990); Marie-Denis Shelton, "Literature Extracted: A Poetic of Daily Life," in Callaloo 15, no. 1 (1992): 167-178.

Additional Bibliography

Aub-Buscher, Gertrude, and Beverly Ormerod Noakes. The Francophone Caribbean Today: Literature, Language, Culture. Barbados: University of West Indies Press, 2003.

Campbell, Elaine, and Pierette M. Frickey. The Whistling Bird: Women Writers of the Caribbean. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reiner Publishers, 1998.

Higonnet, Margaret R., and Joan Templeton. Reconfigured Spheres: Feminist Explorations of Literary Space. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1994.

                                     Carrol F. Coates

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