Émile Ollivier
Translated by Leonard Sugden
Passages previous next   Ekstasis Editions

This powerful novel by the Haitien-Quebecois writer Émile Ollivier tells the tale of a journey from one world to another. Passages is a Homeric epic told in parallel stories. One stream follows the adventures of Amédée Hosange who is leading a group of emigrants in Port-a-l’Écu, a forlorn little village in the Caribbean. They are about to set sail on a frail three-masted boat in the hope of escaping a miserable life. The other stream follows Normand Malavy, a Haïtien exiled in Quebec, who travels to Miami in poor health. The two tales merge when the boat is shipwrecked and the compatriots meet and their destinies mingle. With the action of the novel shifting between Montreal, Haiti and Miami, the author skillfully presents the characters as players in a drama on three levels –– present, past and mythic. Like Odysseus, seeking land, the protagonist Normand is also adrift in the modern world, in search of his past.

Born in Port-au-Prince (Haiti) in 1940, Émile Ollivier is the author of two previous novels, Mére-Solitude (Prix Jacques Roumain 1985) and La discorde aux cent voix (Prix du Journal de Montréal 1987) and two collections of stories, Paysage de l’aveugle and Regarde, regarde les lions. He has lived in Montreal, Quebec for over twenty-five years where he taught at the University of Montreal, Professor Emeritus. He holds degrees in comparative literature from Oxford and Harvard.

ISBN 1-894800-15-X
248 Pages
5 x 8
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