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Kettly Mars

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.

Reading Guide

Tour Dates:

On April 4, 2016 at 2:00pm, Kettly Mars will be at University of California Irvine (UCI)

On April 5 at 10am, She will be at University of Southern California (USC)

On April 6 at (time TBD), She will be at Scripps- Claremont McKenna College (CMC)

On April 7 at 6pm, she will be at the Alliance Française of Denver

On April 8 at 4pm, she will lecture at Colorado University

On April 9 at 6pm, she will talk at Book Cellar bookshop in Chicago

On April 10 at 4pm, she will be in conversation with prof. William Balan-Guabert at Seminary Co-op bookstore, in Chicago

On April 11 at 4pm, she will lecture at Northwestern University

On April 12 at 5pm, she will lecture on Woman's Words from and about Haïti at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

On April 13, at 4pm, she will lecture at Urbana Champain [See flyer]

On April 14, at 4:34pm, she will lecture at Macalester University

On April 15, at 4pm, she will lecture at Carleton University

On April 16, at 9am, she will participate in a workshop with the AATF, and lecture in the afternoon at the Alliance Française of Minneapolis

On April 18, at 4:30pm, she will lecture at Dickinson University

On April 20, she will lecture at Swarthmore University


If you would like to invite this author to speak at your university or bookstore, please fill out the application form and email it to Marine Baudoin at marine.baudoin@diplomatie.gouv.fr