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Evocations of my Past
Sketches of a Haitian Woman’s life
Maryse Noel Roumain   (More from this author)
Autobiography
 
Kreyon Bondye pa gen gňm. (“God’s pencil has no eraser.”) —Haitian proverb
When Maryse Noel Roumain decided to write about her childhood and adolescence in Haiti during the 1950s and 1960s, the term evocation guided her. She uses sensory details to create a vivid picture of life and culture of the Haiti of her youth. Beginning with her First Communion at age seven, the sights, smells, and sounds of her childhood are used to create a vivid picture of that day and those that followed. Within these pages, she explores her growing relationship to her family, her community, and her spirituality in rich detail and emotion. In Haiti, history, culture, religion, and politics are interwoven into the basic fabric of life, and that rich amalgamation of influences shaped her and inspired her. She lived through the terrors and privations of the Duvalier era, a period of history that left its mark on millions of Haitians. Of the middle-class Haitian Diaspora, she says, “We love and are attached to our country of birth and should remain in it to have our life and contribute.” Later in life, she chose to leave her island home behind and venture out into the bigger world, in search of an education—and herself. Her journey took her to Paris, where she studied at the Sorbonne, and eventually to New York City, where she earned a doctorate in psychology. She immersed herself in the cultural diversity of New York City, never forgetting or denying her Haitian identity and heritage.

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"So was our world: religious, magical and mystical. And, within it, people like us who tried to sort things out and understand. As a child, I was kept away and stayed away from what I assimilated to also be the domain of secret societies of evildoers, werewolves, poisoning, zombies, animal sacrifices, human persecution, cannibalism and cataleptic trance or possession by the spirit. I was completely alienated from this estranged world. At night time, I heard the drums from a distance. I observed from afar the "rara" bands passing by. I remain however an unconditinal fanatic of voodoo rhythms, dance and music. And the artistic part of voodoo is so much in my blood, it must have been acquired at an early age." (Chapter IV: Of Good and Evil 2)

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84 Pages
English
 
 
Publisher: Trafford
New York 2011
ISBN: 9781426970825
 
Price: $ 15.00
In stock
 
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