Mauritian literature

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Mauritian literature is more than two centuries old. The island of Mauritius is home to many languages, and Mauritian literature exists in French, English, Creole and Indian languages. Major themes in Mauritian literature include exoticism, multiracialism and miscegenation, racial and social conflicts, indianocéanisme, and--more recently--post-modernism and post-structuralism currents, such as coolitude.

After independence in 1968 writers like Azize Asgarally and Dev Virahsawmy reactivated creole language, then considered as a "patois," and wrote literature, especially drama. The new generation of writers has expressed persistent concern with structure and more global themes.

While Kreol Morisyen is the most spoken language on in Mauritius, most of the literature is written in French, although many authors write in English, Bhojpuri, and Morisyen, and others such as Abhimanyu Unnuth in Hindi. Mauritius's renowned playwright Dev Virahsawmy writes exclusively in Morisyen.

Important authors include Malcolm de Chazal, Ananda Devi, Raymond Chasle, Loys Masson, Marcel Cabon, and Edouard Maunick.[citation needed] Lindsey Collen has been able to carve out a meeting of imaginaries in the unique social setup of this multi-faceted country. Other younger writers like Shenaz Patel, Amal Sewtohul, Natacha Appanah, Alain Gordon-Gentil and Carl de Souza explore the issues of ethnicity, superstition and politics in the novel. Poet and critic Khal Torabully has put forward the concept of "coolitude," a poetics that results from the blend of Indian and Mauritian cultural diversity. Other poets include Hassam Wachill, Edouard Maunick, Sedley Assone, Yusuf Kadel and Umar Timol.

J. M. G. Le Clézio, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2008, is of Mauritian heritage and holds dual French-Mauritian citizenship.

The island plays host to the Le Prince Maurice Prize, a literary award celebrating and recognizing 'writers of the heart'. The award is designed to highlight the literary love story in all its forms rather than for pure Romantic Fiction. In keeping with the island's literary culture the prize alternates on a yearly basis between English-speaking and French-speaking writers.

Notable writers[edit]

French language
English language
Bhojpuri
Creole

See also[edit]