KANNJAWOU, lyonel trouillot
French publisher: ACTES SUD
US publisher: SCHAFFNER PRESS
Translated by Gretchen Schmid
In this energetic celebration of Haiti and its capital in the early 2000s, Trouillot embodies the nation's indomitable spirit. The anonymous, world-weary, 20-something male narrator keenly depicts a country entering a new era after years of dictatorship and the chaos wrought by the most recent foreign arrivals: the international peace-keeping forces sent to restore order after the departure of the U.S. Marines.
In a series of journal entries, the young protagonist introduces readers to his world within a world—a community center in Port-au-Prince peopled by a motley group of friends, lovers, revolutionaries, compatriots, dreamers, schemers, and mentors, all living under the watchful eye of Mam Jeanne, the proprietress.
In KANNJAWOU Trouillot has penned a love song and a swan song to that era of dispersion for Haiti's people, who, even when they are far from home carry with them the kannjawouspirit.