France is hosting its 9th “Latin America and Caribbean Week” (La Semaine de l’Amérique latine et des Caraïbes or SALC) from 26 May to 11 June this year, and included in the line-up of cultural and artistic events is a discussion of Caribbean literature at ESSEC Business School in Cergy-Pontoise, a commune outside Paris.
The talk will feature two Jamaicans based in France - researcher and lecturer Dr. Sondré Colly-Durand and award-winning writer Alecia McKenzie, author of the novels A Million Aunties and Sweetheart.
The annual Semaine de l’Amérique latine et des Caraïbes, or SALC, is an initiative launched by a French Senate resolution in 2011 and coordinated by France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. It has long gone beyond being a “true week” since it generally runs for more than seven days. “But when you like something, you don’t count the days,” an official once declared as the event got underway.
In previous sessions, McKenzie - founder of SWAN and the Caribbean Translation Project - has led a bilingual literary reading at a Paris bookshop and focused on translation at a virtual event last year during the pandemic “Semaine”.
France has seen a growing number of literary translations from English-speaking Caribbean countries and from Latin America in recent years, reflecting public interest. Trésor, the translation (by S. Schler) of McKenzie’s novel Sweetheart, was awarded the Prix Carbet des Lycéens in 2017 by students in Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane and London.
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