“Comment devient-on une écrivaine?”: Pineau, Kanor, Octavia

Lorna Catherine Milne*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines Gisèle Pineau’s Fleur de Barbarie (2007), Fabienne Kanor’s Je ne suis pas un homme qui pleure (2016) and Gaël Octavia’s La Bonne Histoire de Madeleine Démétrius (2020). Striking similarities between the texts produce a coherent vision of the contemporary Antillean woman writer as a rounded, independent figure who balances individual, collective, personal and literary elements of her life and adopts a singular approach to the intergenerational dynamics that are so important in Antillean culture. As a woman, she seeks to end painful intergenerational family legacies; as a writer, she detaches herself from the overdetermining, backward-looking and vertical metaphor of the literary family tree (whether patri- or matrilinear), in favor of a more horizontal fellowship of black women writers that creates space both for her and for other writers who might join her.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-372
Number of pages18
JournalContemporary French and Francophone Studies
Issue number3
Early online date26 Jun 2024
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2024


  • French
  • Caribbean
  • Women
  • Literature
  • Pineau
  • Kanor
  • Octavia


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