The French Institute in India in association with the Publishing house Speaking Tiger is launching the new release of the English translation of ‘La panse du chacal‘, The Cane-Cutter’s Song by Raphaël Confiant.
The French author Raphaël Confiant will be in conversation with his translator Vidya Vencatesan, the Mauritian writer Ananda Devi and the Mumbai-based Indian English poet Jerry Pinto.
In the Cane-Cutter’s Song, originally published in French as La Panse du chacal, award-winning Martinician author Raphaël Confiant illuminates the lesser-known side of the West Indian identity – the Indian side of the Creole, and within it the story of thousands of lost Indians who longed to return home.
Synopsis of the book
Lured by the promise of easy money in the faraway land of hope, Adhiyaman Dorassamy embarks on a formidable crossing of 2 turbulent oceans so as to not end up like his parents in ‘the jackal’s belly’.
As the ship docks at the harbours of the French colony of Martinique, the Dorassamys soon realize their predicament: like the thousands of ‘Coolies’ before them, they are now to replace the freed Negro slaves in the sugarcane plantations. Ostracized by the former slaves and blinding subjected to the whims of the white planters, these ‘Coolie’ Indians swiftly learn the art of survival and plunge into an unfamiliar world where just like their forgotten deities, their language too has faded amongst the Creole words.