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© N. Affonso, 2019
© N. Affonso, 2019

 

Dear Readers:

It is a wonder to be seen.

Thank you for finding your way to my website.  You’ll find here pages linking you to my book publications as well as a series of blog posts (2012-2015), on the post-earthquake situation in Haiti, as well as the crisis occasioned by ruling 168-13 of September 23, 2013 issued against Dominicans of Haitian descent by the Tribunal Court of the Dominican Republic.

This year, two separate translations of my last novel, The Loneliness of Angels, will appear: a Danish translation in the Spring, with the Danish literary press, Rebel With A Cause (as of this writing, out in Spring 2019), and, forthcoming, a Spanish translation with the Colombian literary press, LaSirèn. 

In March 2020, my 4th academic monograph, Autochthonomies: Transnationalism, Testimony and Transmission in the African Diaspora, which received a Guggenheim Fellowship, will appear with the University of Illinois University Press. My post-earthquake novel, “Douze” has been placed with a major press (announcement pending!) and I hope will be out in late 2020, in time for the 10th year commemoration of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, or in very early 2021.

For an excerpt from Douzeplease follow the following link below to Il Tolomeo, the comparative literature journal of the University of Venice, Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Italy:

http://edizionicafoscari.unive.it/it/edizioni/riviste/il-tolomeo/2015/17/the-tug/

For a short podcast interview on the novel conducted by Nigerian/South African filmmaker, Akin Omotoso, go to:

https://www.spreaker.com/user/akinesthetic/akin-interviews-award-winning-author-myr

Finally, in early 2019, I witnessed the passing of my beloved mother, Adeline L. Chancy.  For the past two years, I have been giving an open lecture in a course designed for undergraduates.  My talk addressed the topic of “women in literature” or who we consider when we speak of a genealogy of women’s literature.  The talk covered 3 essays, by Rebecca Solnit, Virginia Woolf, and Jamaica Kincaid respectively, and revolved around Woolf’s conceit that “if we are women, we think through our mothers.” Although I debated this premise in the lecture, just as it is said that seers often learn from their readings for others, I now see in hindsight that I was learning the truth of this statement as my mother passed into another realm.

When I was about 27 years old, my mother called me at age 64 and recently retired, to tell me that she did not want to die without having known me.  There began a process of deepening our acquaintance as mother and daughter, then as friends, later as accomplices.  She learned to understand my fluidity as a person who could just as well fall in love with a man as with a woman as with flowers or the fecundity of my own mind on any given day; I learned to see her as a complex, hardy, time-defying woman of many talents who chose anonymity despite these.  By the time she was struck with multiple illnesses, including two cancers, there was nothing unsaid between us.  I discussed with her everything I wrote and she read everything I produced, even when she did not quite understand it or had to reread it multiple times.  She was, at the beginning, my harshest critic, and, in the end, my most loyal companion.  And, today, despite her departure, I find that the conversation continues, that I think through my mother.  I hope that she continues to think, and exist, through me.

Thanks for the visit!

Myriam J. A. Chancy

Los Angeles, CA

October 5, 2019

“Where love is, there is transformation. Without love, revolution has no meaning, for then revolution is merely destruction, decay, a greater and greater ever-mounting misery. Where there is love, there is revolution, because love is transformation from moment to moment.”  – Krishnamurti, The First & Last Freedoms

 

REVIEWS OF FROM SUGAR TO REVOLUTION: WOMEN’S VISIONS OF HAITI, CUBA & THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (2012)

“In this original and provocative study, Myriam Chancy reads the catastrophic history of the Caribbean in the narrative and visual fictions of a number of remarkable women artists, disclosing hitherto uncharted maps of time and voice and remembrance. A work of studied insight, engaged criticism, and graceful sentences, it will alter not only the frames in which Haiti, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic are represented, but the very conditions for a gendered and transnational inquiry into the Caribbean present.”

— David Scott, Columbia University, Editor, Small Axe

“Rich and suggestive, this broad-ranging and original study combines interpretive readings and personal conversations with individual artists. Chancy places women’s bodies, voices, memories, and visions at the centre of a careful scrutiny of the way three global axes of power—sugar, sovereignty, and revolution—have defined and confined Caribbean history, with its traumatic events and lingering painful memories. Conjugating national and transnational approaches to the Creolophone, Anglophone, and Hispanophone islands, Chancy redefines our understanding of terror by opening up innovative cultural and scholarly avenues for hopeful new beginnings. This is a transformative intervention in the contemporary realities of the region.”

— Françoise Lionnet, UCLA, Co-editor, The Creolization of Theory

“Chancy’s multifaceted study examines contemporary Cuban, Haitian, and Dominican women’s use of literary and performance arts to resurrect marginalized and silenced subjects’ memories. Her paradigm for constructing cohesive Caribbean relations is the Haitian Revolution’s broad rejection of the French occupation, Haiti’s reclamation of national sovereignty, freedom from the imposition of Enlightenment logic, and reassertion of collective national memory. Troubling for Chancy’s transformative vision is neighbouring nations’ acceptance of imposed rather than original, indigenous cultures, thereby rejecting association with Haiti’s black majority population…. This book is an incredible read.”

— J.C. Richards, Park University, Choice

REVIEWS OF SPIRIT OF HAITI

“This accomplished and haunting debut…is a surreal tour de force set in Haiti during the 1990s….The prose is energetic and filled with poignancy so deeply felt, it resonates long after the story has been told….lyrical and breathtaking….Chancy is a writer who cares about words and pace and tells her story in deft strokes….This sensitive portrait of a people whose spirit might be quashed but not diminished is a compelling read.”
– Irene D’Souza, “Surreal tour de force set in Haiti,” Winnipeg Free Press, March 2005

“Chancy’s [prose] brims with literary devices and rich images that transpose the harsh realities of Duvalier’s terror-based regime against the personal dreams of her individual characters….in Chancy’s world, true meaning resides in the intangible rather than in material reality.”
– WorldPulse, Winter 2004

REVIEWS OF THE SCORPION CLAW

“somber and ethereal”

– Colin Rickards, forthcoming review, SheCaribbean
“…readers can tell from the onset that the former professor has shed her scholarly cloak for a writer’s mantle….[The] Scorpion’s Claw is reminiscent of Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, in the emotions she evokes.”

– Malcollvie Jean-François, “Chancy Frees Voices in ‘Scorpion’s Claw’,” Haitian Times, Sept. 2005
“Chancy may well become a grand dame of Haitian literature…luminous and realistic…[s]he captures her readers and never loses their attention….in evocative and illuminating prose….the story she tells of the plight of a Haitian family, serves as an important and worthy subtext for all the political and genocidal atrocities that haunt our television broadcasts on any given day.”

-Irene D’Souza, “Author releases Haitian people, landscapes,” Winnipeg Free Press, June 19th, 2005
“…groundbreaking…and she’s already at work on her third novel”

– Buzzworthy, Caribbean Beat, Jan/Feb 2005