Mauritian Ananda Devi tells the women’s millennium “Fardo”

The new book from the pen by Mauritian novelist Ananda Devi is not a novel, but an original written exercise published in co-edition with the Musée des Confluences in Lyon. Inspired by the author’s encounter with the mummy of a Peruvian, pre – Columbian woman who lived three thousand years ago, Fardo is a text halfway between anthropology, history and reflection on art and writing. The original in its form nonetheless revives this book the haunted themes of Ananda Devi’s work, ranging from the state of women to social violence, including speaking out of those who have no right to words. “Writing Path” paints the portrait of this prolific and feminist author who has made literature his tool for exploring the continents of suffering.

My writing path …

“Ananda Devi is Maurice’s voice,” wrote Jean-Marie Le Clézio, Nobel Prize in Literature. The author of 18 fictional texts and 5 collections of poems, the novelist is one of the greatest French-speaking authors. Since Solstices, her first collection of short stories, which she published in her teens forty years ago, Devi has established herself and brought the subdued voices of women, the excluded, and other crepuscular beings deprived of speech into the world. Mauritius Patriarchal Society, where she grew up.

Ananda Devi’s books also tell about India, where her ancestors come from. Revised Indian legends and epics now provide the stories that the novelist hears. In The Veil of Draupadi, the novel that made her famous in 1993, she has the character of a woman who is forced to go on fire in hopes of having her sick child prayed for. In Eve de ses décombres, a novel crowned with the five continents of the Francophonie Prize, Mauritian leads his readers into the excluded and marginalized, deprived horizon.

What does the context in my work …

An anthropologist by education and a feminist by belief, Ananda Devi is undoubtedly the best exegete in her own work, with Toni Morrison being the main inspiration. For a long time, Mauritian kept a photo of the African-American novelist on his desk in hopes of soaking up her rhythmic and harsh prose. She has often been successful, although Ananda Devi readily admits to being attacked by doubt and fear.

For any writer, an energy that falls …

An Unjustified Fear, as evidenced by Fardo, is the last title from this talented writer. Halfway between history and reflection, Fardo is inspired by the hieratic figure of a pre-Columbian woman whose path Devi crossed in the bend in the corridors of a large museum in Lyon, where the mummy of this Yschma weaver is preserved. . Holding spiders in one hand and seabird feathers in the other, wrapped in her textile protection called “fardo” with an “o”, this woman landed for millennia to the author, who sees her ancestor of the heroines in her novels bent under the social burden. Unique storyteller, the Mauritian Ananda Devi weaves with the remnants of life timeless stories and sometimes gives a glimpse behind “fardo” a feather flicker on which so many promises of happiness must be built.


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