La Couleur De L'aube

Yanick Lahens

On Monday Haitian writer Yanick Lahens was awarded the Prix Femina, by an all-female jury, for her 2000 work “Bain de lune”. Lahens currently lives in Haiti, born in Port au Prince she moved to France to study at the Sorbonne. As a Professor of Literature she dedicates a large part of her time to a foundation set up to train you Haitians in sustainable development.This novel was originally published as “La Coleur de l’aube” it won the RFO award in 2009, the Prix Millepages in 2008 and the Priz litteraire Richelieu de la Francophonie in 2009.

Published in 2013 by Seren Books, as part of their “discoveries” series, “The Colour of Dawn” has two narrators, sisters Angelique and Joyeuse. We start with Angelique Meracin waking to discover that her brother Fignole has not returned home, nor slept in his bed.

It’s precisely half past four…This moment, between darkness and light, is my favourite time. The time when my thoughts can turn freely to those who occupy this house, to all those whose whereabouts are lost to me, or who are too far away. The hour of my accumulated resentments, the hour of my numerous hatred, my expectations ranged before me, my hardships that are enough to make me cry with rage. Resentments, hatreds, hardships – I will soon have gathered them all, without exception, like a gaggle of chattering gossips. I carry inside myself so many other women, strangers who dog my footsteps, who live in my shadow, restless in my skin. Not one of them will be deaf to the call of this young woman, not yet thirty, on whom time has left its mark. A young woman struck down some years ago who pretends to carry on living as if nothing had happened.

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