Past Features

December 17, 2007 (Vol. 6, No. 9)

Professor Spear's Newest Book Focuses on Haiti

Thomas Spear with Rodney Saint-Eloi, Jan J. Dominique, and Jean Wilfred Bertrand
(l.-r.) Professor Thomas Spear with author and Mémoire d'encrier publisher Rodney Saint-Éloi, author Jan J. Dominique, and Jean Wilfred Bertrand, director of the Archives Nationales d'Haïti (Haiti's National Archives), in front of the Mémoire d'encrier stand at the Montréal book fair.

Professor Thomas Spear (Languages and Literatures) is the author of a new book, titled Une journée haïtienne, published jointly by Montréal's Mémoire d'encrier and Paris's Présence Africaine. The book features short texts by 40 contemporary Haitian authors asked to describe a day, a vision, or an impression of Haiti.

The book was launched in November in Montréal at the Salon du livre and was released December 15 in Paris, where the year-long Rumeurs Urbaines (Urban Rumors) Festival is taking place. Created in 2000, the Festival celebrates the art of words and features invited writers and artists from around the world.

Professor Spear has been bringing the book to the public's attention with articles appearing in December's Magazine Littéraire, Montréal's Gazette, the Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste, and interviews on Brooklyn's "Radio Optimum," and Montréal's CPAM.

In 2005, Professor Spear won the prestigious "Trophée de la Diversité Culturelle" ("Trophy of Cultural Diversity") for his website "île en île" ("from island to island"). The site presents authors from the world's French-speaking islands, such as Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Madagascar, Réunion, and the Polynesian islands, as well as examples of other diverse and popular forms of writing often neglected by the traditional literary establishment.