Kettly Mars was born in 1958 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she resides today. After winnning the 1996 Jacques Stéphen Alexis Prize, her first major collection of poetry and short stories, Un parfum d'encens, was published in 1999. Since then, she has written several novels, including L'heure hybride (Vents d'ailleurs, 2005), Aux Frontières de la soif (Mercure de France, 2013), and Je suis vivant (Mercure de France, 2015). Savage Seasons (Saisons sauvages), translated by Jeanine Herman and published by University of Nebraska Press in 2015, marks Mars's English-language debut.
About Savage Seasons
(University of Nebraska Press, 2015, Translation Jeanine Herman)
Port-au-Prince, the 1960s: Duvalier and his militia are systematically eliminating opponents to the regime. Daniel Leroy, editor in chief of the opposition newspaper, has just been arrested. To find out what has become of him, his wife, Nirvah, visits Raoul Vincent, secretary of state at the Office of Public Safety. This fearsome head of the secret police is instantly smitten, and to ensure her husband’s survival and protect her family, Nirvah submits to the official’s desires. Becoming the mistress of a strongman in the regime is not without its benefits. Still, she has to endure her neighbors’ inquisitive looks and the silent questions of her own children.
Kettly Mars’s Savage Seasons describes a pivotal and painful period in Haitian history by weaving together two stories: the personal story of Nirvah and her family and the universal story of Duvalier’s dictatorial regime and its abuses.
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