Portfolio

Writing about books

Review: Moonbath by Yanick Lahens. Rain Taxi. Volume 22, Number 4, Winter 2017.

Review: Behind the Eyes We Meet by Mélissa Verrault. Necessary Fiction, 4 December 2017.

Review: Seeing People Off by Jana Beňová. Necessary Fiction, 26 June 2017.

Review: Dance on the Volcano by Marie Vieux-Chauvet. The Quarterly Conversation, 12 December 2016.

Julia Franks Brings Appalachia to the Page: An Interview with the Author of Over the Plain Houses. Electric Literature, 30 June 2016.

Review: Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks. Necessary Fiction, 13 June 2016.

For my work at Book Riot, please consult my author page.

Academic writing

“City Limits: Possibilities Beyond Violence in Abdoulaye Sadji’s Maïmouna and Nini.” Journal of the African Literature Association. Volume 8, Issue 2. 2014.

“Resurfacing: The Poetics of Water in African and Caribbean Literature”

Dissertation Project — PhD in French — Emory University — Supervisor: Valérie Loichot

This dissertation examines works of literature by African and Caribbean writers through a concept that I term resurfacing, which denotes a poetic engagement with bodies of water symbolizing the recuperation of the individual and collective past in the present moment. Drawing from the work of Martinican writer and philosopher Edouard Glissant, I seek to explore the subaquatic connections between Africa and the Caribbean as conceived by creators of fiction and poetry. Furthermore, the element of water is at once life-giving and deathly, and the following study shows that such a paradox evokes the lived experience throughout the black Atlantic. Taking the oral literature of West Africa as my starting point, I move to a discussion of the Atlantic Ocean in contemporary Senegalese literature, in order to pursue a comparative analysis that also examines water as an important element within the conceptions of afterlife in Haitian Vodou. Finally, I explore the intergenerational memory of the Middle Passage as conveyed by Caribbean authors living in Canada. Juxtaposing African and Caribbean texts accomplishes two equally important goals. On the one hand, I am concerned with the sustained relationship between Africa and the Caribbean, created by the slave trade, and maintained by the deep cultural roots that continue to thrive and to be rearticulated in new forms throughout the Caribbean and the African diaspora more broadly. On the other hand, the discourse surrounding Caribbean cultures brings to the fore the unique position of these islands to cultivate multiplicity, créolitéand infinite complexity. This position lends itself to a rhizomatic openness that is productively accommodating of difference. Therefore, this dissertation considers what it would mean to see the weblike structures so readily available to an analysis of Caribbean literature and intellectual history at work in the African context. In essence, resurfacing distinguishes a creative process at work wherein the waters of the world symbolically become a vast repository of history, memory, and spiritual and artistic consciousness that is poetically engaged in literature throughout Atlantic spaces.

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