Story posted April 02, 2012
Acclaimed Francophone novelist, journalist and director Dany Laferrière will visit Bowdoin to screen and discuss a film at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, 2012, in Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center.
"An Evening with Dany Laferrière," including the screening of La Dérive douce d'un enfant de Petit-Goâve, is open to the public free of charge.
La Dérive douce d'un enfant de Petit-Goâve (The Gentle Drifting of a Little Boy from Petit-Goâve) is a 2009 film by Pedro Ruiz (in French with English subtitles) that tells the story of Laferrière's life.
Dany Laferrière was born and raised in Haiti. Upon learning his life was threatened at the age of 23, he fled the Duvalier dictatorship in 1976 to seek refuge in Montréal, Canada.
Since his first novel in 1985, Comment faire l'amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer (How to Make Love to a Negro without Getting Tired), Laferrière has published extensively and received many prestigious awards, among them the prominent Prix Médicis in 2009 for his eleventh novel, L'énigme du retour (The Return).
Living in Montréal and for some time in Miami, he has produced novels and other writings that examine relationships between the races and genders, and convey his own experience as a migrant in a new country. He has also directed films.
In La Dérive douce d'un enfant de Petit-Goâve, director Pedro Ruiz traces Laferrière from his arrival in Montréal in 1976 until the writing of his book, L'énigme du retour. The documentary follows Laferrière through a dozen cities, including his hometown of Petit-Goâve.
Laferrière is now one of the world's most prominent French-language novelists outside of France, as well as one of Quebec's most widely regarded contemporary authors. His work, published originally in French, has been translated into numerous languages, among them English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Greek, Swedish and Korean.
Laferrière's visit is sponsored by the Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund; the departments of Romance Languages and Film Studies; the Africana Studies, Latin American Studies, and Gender and Women's Studies programs; and Bowdoin Haitian Alliance.