Présence Francophone: Revue internationale de langue et de littérature


The relationship between Haiti and the Domincan Republic is often analyzed through the prism of the century-old rivalry which opposed the two countries at specifi c times during the course of their history. Le peuple des terres mêlées is about one of the darkest chapter of this troubled and turbulent past; the 1937 genocide of thousands of Haitians by the Dominican authorities. In the border town of Elias Piña, a Haitian, Adèle Benjamin and her Dominican husband, Pedro Alvarez Brito are caught up in the genocidal violence ordered by the dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo y Molina whose goal is to achieve a society of “whites only”. Beyond its testimonial dimension, Philoctète’s novel is a call to end the historic mutual mistrust and animosity between the two sister nations, often referred to as “double insularité”. The dream-like narration and the fragmented memories which are the hallmark of Philoctète’s text bear witness to a tumultuous past kept alive by oral tradition.



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