Aruban identity, French nationality in the Caribbean at St. Martin Book Fair, June 3 – 5, 2010

The workshops at the 8th annual St. Martin Book Fair, June 3 – 5, 2010, are again going to be informative and so exciting, said book fair coordinator Shujah Reiph.   

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The Aruban poet/novelist Quito Nicolaas is one of the visiting authors. His workshop topic is "How to identify Aruban literature today," which naturally touches on what is the Aruban identity. Living in the Netherlands and working in the legal field, Nicolaas will lecture on Saturday, June 5, at 9 AM, at the University of St. Martin (USM).

Nicolaas said that he will analyze "Aruban literature in a socio-historical context. Works by Aruban writers Ernesto Rosenstand, Frank Williams, and Jossy Tromp will be analyzed by using the concept of Imagology; the study of national characterizations and national, cultural or ethnic stereotypes."

"Work by Aruban writers living in the Netherlands writing in Dutch and Papiamento will also be included," said Nicolaas. Once in St. Martin the writer, who edits a dedicated blog journal Gedachten en gedichten, will visit Leonard Connor School; recite at the Public Library in Marigot on Friday evening; and sign his books at USM during the opening ceremony on Thursday at 8 PM, and after his workshop.

 Nicolaas is the author of Destino (Fate), Gerede twijfels (Reasonable doubt), Atardi di Antaño (Afternoon’s Gone By) and Alameda — all poetry books. A fervent Papiamento advocate, he also writes in Dutch, English, and Spanish. His first Papiamento novel Tera di silencio (Land of Silence) was published in 2004.

Taking on the daunting topic of "French nationality and Caribbean Identity," Raphaël Confiant will have his workshop at the Public Library in Marigot on Saturday, at 11 AM.

A leading author from Martinique, where he is a professor at the University of the French Antilles and Guiana, Confiant is considered a co-creator of the Créolité, where like many of his works, he explores the memory, culture, language and history of Martinique.

The essays and novels of Confiant include" Les Ténèbres extérieures (2008), Kod Yanm (1986), Eloge de la Créolité (1989), Eau de Café (1991), Aimé Césaire, une traversée paradoxale du siècle (1993), Le Meurtre du Samedi-Gloria (1997), Nuée Ardente (2002), La Panse du Chacal (2004), and Nègre Marron (2006).

Confiant, whose work is not unknown in St. Martin, will visit the College de Quartier d’Orleans on Friday morning. He will be available for book signings at the book fair opening on Thursday, June 3, at 8 PM, at USM.

All book fair activities "for the whole family" are free to the public, said Reiph. The St. Martin Book Fair is organized by Conscious Lyrics Foundation and HNP in collaboration with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, the Collectivity of St. Martin, and USM.