Maryse Condé, at Home in the World

Throughout her four-decade literary career, the Guadeloupean writer has explored a global vision of the Black diaspora, and placed Caribbean life at the center.

Maryse Condé’s long life and career — at 86, the Guadeloupean writer has published more than 20 books — has been shaped by some of the world’s biggest political and cultural upheavals.

And she, in turn, has played a role in interpreting those shifts. With roots in Guadeloupe, but encompassing the years she spent in Africa, Europe and North America, her work has explored the many threads of the Black diaspora — always keeping the Caribbean at the center.

In the past few years, Condé has been showered with honors and accolades across the globe. And even if she plays it down — “My children and grandchildren must be proud, but I don’t think about it much,” she says — it’s prompted her to reflect on her dizzying journey and extraordinary life.

The world changes and the writer changes with it,” Condé recalled by email from her home in Provence, France. “It’s not a question of age, but rather sensitivity to change and the desire to write about it.

March 06, 2023