Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba

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Caribbean letters in the city of Matanzas

Gloria Machado León 7 febrero, 2018
Gisèle Pineau is a sweet, calm and affable woman. When he speaks his words seem to slide to the rhythm of a pulsating rhythm, they dance around the ideas with a suggestive and attractive musicality. No need to understand, their gestures betray so much sensitivity contained.

She communicates in French, but there are traces in her accent of a past that she was estranged from during her childhood and that she discovered in her adolescence thanks to her grandmother Julia.

Descendant of a Guadeloupean family, Gisèle was born in Paris because his father settled there as a soldier. Far from being for them the Light City, the European metropolis became little by little a foreign and empty place, a racist and hostile society where racial discrimination made them white at the center of the target of rejection.

These are some of the experiences narrated by the writer in her novel Exile according to Julia, presented at the headquarters of Ediciones Vigía, in Matanzas. The text, Prize for Literary Translation for the poet and editor matancera Laura Ruiz Montes approaches winding and troubled areas of the life of Gisèle and their relatives, away from their native country, uprooted from its customs, its people and traditions, prisoners a language that was not theirs and systems of life imposed by the society in which they lived, so different from those of their distant island overseas.

Even if this is not a repository of anecdotes, real experiences, appreciations of exile in which the saviors remaining from memory always appear to bring readers to the immense cultural wealth of the Caribbean, transmitted to the then child by your paternal grandmother.

For family reasons Julia lived for 7 years in the small apartment in Parisian suburbs. During this stage the kind woman, illiterate but owns an inexhaustible wisdom about life, taught him the importance of respect and tolerance and delved into the wonderful world of Creole, beliefs, medicine, poetry and music, history is the same as that of the Caribbean peoples. Julia thus became a kind of thread that linked them to an island that was beating in her veins even without knowing it.

According to Laura Ruiz “The exile according to Julia opens the doors to a greater rapprochement between Cuba and the Caribbean to which it belongs and Gisèle Pineau achieves it in a beautiful way. Discovering her literature, especially in the case of this novel in which real life characters are assumed as protagonists unlike most of her previous publications, fills me with admiration for her. “

Reading these pages “allows us to learn to admire life with the heart and not so much with the eyes”. In his work jumps an unusual beauty, beats a powerful ingenuity, are letters adorned by force, spirituality, magic and the feeling of belonging with “this Caribbean that unites us even though we are far away”.

The writer, author of some twenty titles and considered one of the most representative creators of the region at present, thanked Matanzas and Vigía for allowing her to “share these experiences and be in Cuba.” It meant that, despite his four previous visits to the country, this time it was special because “I discovered a beautiful city like this, we have broken the language barriers and I was able to transmit my personal experiences that are also those of the Cuban people”, charged with separations and pains, but also full of friendship, fraternity and hope, as his grandmother taught him in those distant days of exile.

After its premiere in Matanzas, Exile according to Julia, a testimony which becomes requiem to the cultural roots and permanent tribute to images that are symbols for the Caribbean imaginary as expressions of identity will be presented Wednesday at 2 pm in the capital during the International Book Fair of Havana.

Original text by on Feb 6th, 2017

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