Pretenders: The Hellénus Cato Affair

Pretenders: The Hellénus Cato Affair

Pretenders: The Hellénus Cato Affair

Pretenders: The Hellénus Cato Affair


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It is 1923. The location is Port-au-Prince, the scenic and sweltering capital of the Caribbean nation of Haiti. Although the country won its independence more than a century earlier, for the last eight years it has languished under the yoke of the U.S. Occupation. Like most of his compatriots, Hellénus Cato is a staunch opponent of the American intervention. The foreign administrators are proving no better than the local opportunists, the Pretenders who say one thing and mean another. Cato is growing more miserable with each passing day, despite the company of his lovely young wife, Céphise. When a dashing Cuban arrives in town promising him fantastic riches, Cato’s destiny is about to change drastically—but not necessarily for the better. Is this the chance he has been waiting for, or is this foreigner yet another Pretender?

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781928049500
Publisher: Matthew Robertshaw
Publication date: 12/22/2018
Pages: 122
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.29(d)

About the Author

The celebrated Haitian writer Fernand Hibbert was born in Miragoâne in 1873 and died in 1928. Hibbert studied in Paris before teaching history and French literature at Lycée Pétion in Port-au-Prince. He had a distinguished diplomatic career as Minister of Foreign Relations and later Minister Plenipotentiary to Cuba and was later Secretary of State for Public Education. He was an outspoken opponent of the American Occupation of his homeland (1915-1934) and used his platform as a writer and a civil servant to fight for Haitian sovereignty. He contributed to newspapers and literary reviews, wrote several novels, plays and short stories, helping to establish a uniquely Haitian literary culture.

Matthew is a doctoral student of Haitian, Caribbean and French African history at York University. This is his second translation of a novel by Fernand Hibbert, the first being Romulus (2014, Deux Voiliers Publishers). He also co-translated C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe into Haitian Creole (2017, Educa Vision). He has also published multiple articles on language rights in Haiti in the Journal of Haitian Studies and the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. He lives in Cambridge, Ontario with his wife and two sons.

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