Maryse Condé & Richard Philcox: Giving Voice to Guadeloupe

At 83, Maryse Condé is one of the most significant voices of our time. The Guadeloupean novelist, critic and playwright has had a career festooned with honours and awards, including the New Academy Prize in Literature, the substitute for the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Radical activism has characterised much of her work – ‘I could not write anything... unless it has a certain political significance. I have nothing else to offer that remains important.’ After resisting being seen as an autobiographical writer early in her career, Condé’s later work has drawn heavily on her childhood, her forebears and themes of gender, class and race relations in the postcolonial Caribbean and West Africa.

Her new book (translated from French by her translator and husband Richard Philcox) is The Wondrous and Tragic Lives of Ivan and Ivana. Written in the shadow of the Charlie Hebdo attack, it is a searing novel about the resistance of binaries. Join Condé and Philcox as they reflect on and celebrate a partnership that has spanned decades, genres and literary worlds with the award-winning writer, critic and cultural journalist Maya Jaggi.

This event is pre-recorded and audio-only, with captions.


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