Maryse Conde Shares 'Tales from the Heart' of Guadeloupe
The PEN American Center Open Book Committee's celebration of the publication of Maryse Conde's new memoir, "Tales from the Heart: True Stories From My Childhood," includes a reading by Conde in French, which was co-sponsored by the Small Press Center in Manhattan. Conde, the pre-eminent French Caribbean writer and professor at Columbia since 1995, was joined by her translator and husband, Richard Philcox, who read from the memoir in English. In an interview with Elizabeth Nunez, the PEN Open Book Committee chairwoman, Conde speaks in English about her childhood in Guadeloupe, the trials of assimilation into the French mother country from the French Caribbean and her 12 years in West Africa. Conde has had a flourishing career as an academic alongside her life as a novelist. She is the author of 10 novels, including "Windward Heights" (2000), "The Children of Segu" (1990) and "I, Tutuba, Black Witch of Salem." At Columbia, she chairs the Center for French and Francophone Studies.