Le roman La Panse du chacal de Raphaël CONFIANT (éditons Mercure de France) vient ainsi d'être traduit à Mumbay (ex-Bombay) par Vidya VENCATESAN, professeur à l'université de cette même ville. L'écrivain martiniquais fait désormais partie des très rares écrivains antillais de la zone franco-créolophone à être traduit au pays de Gandhi. Son livre est aussi en cours de traduction en bengali, l'une des 23 langues nationales de l'Inde parlée par 250 millions de locuteurs...
Lured by the promise of easy money in the faraway land of hope, Adhiyaman Dorassamy embarks on a formidable crossing of two turbulent oceans so as to not end up like his parents in ‘the jackal’s belly’.
As the ship docks at the harbours of the French colony of Martinique, the Dorassamys soon realize their predicament: like the thousands of ‘Coolies’ before them, they are to now replace the freed Negro slaves in the sugarcane plantations. Ostracized by the former slaves and blindly subjected to the whims of the white planters, these ‘Coolie’ Indians swiftly learn the art of survival and plunge into an unfamiliar world where just like their forgotten deities, their language too has faded amongst the Creole words.
In The Cane-Cutter’s Song, originally published in French as La panse du chacal, award-winning Martinican author Raphaël Confiant illuminates the lesser-known side of the West Indian identity—the Indian side of the Creole, and within it the story of thousands of lost Indians who longed to return home. Available for the first time in English, this impeccable translation by Vidya Vencatesan is an immersive and riveting read.
Raphaël Confiant was born in Martinique. He is the author of numerous novels in Creole and French. He made his name in France with his novel Le Nègre et l’Amiral (Grasset, 1988). In 1991, he won the Prix Novembre for Eau de Café (Grasset, 1991). His novel Le meurtre du Samedi-Gloria (Mercure de France, 1997) won the Prix RFO du livre the year it was published.
Vidya Vencatesan is Professor of French in the Department of French and heads the Centre for European Studies at University of Mumbai. She has translated Javed Akhtar’s poetry into French (D’autres mondes, Paris, Editions Janus 2014) and has been awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and Cavaliere della Stella d’Italia.