General Presentation

Ernest Pépin was born in 1950 in Le Lamentin, Guadeloupe. A Modern Literature graduate from Bordeaux University, he is a novelist, poet and literary critic. Starting out as a teacher of French, Ernest got involved in cultural initiatives from the early 1980s. After holding several positions in regional authorities, in March 2001 he was appointed Director of Cultural Affairs in Guadeloupe General Council. His first publication was a collection of poems, Au verso du silence, which came out in 1984. But it was his first novel, L’homme au Baton (1992), that got the writer known to the general public. With several collections of poems, novels and short stories under his belt – which have received awards on numerous occasions – Ernest Pépin’s writings have been translated into several languages. His favourite theme is Guadeloupian society, its beauty and its failings. He examines relations between men and women, the feminine condition and sees “creolity” as an opportunity to seize whilst looking outwards into the wider world. In Lettre ouverte à la Jeunesse (2001), the author decides to write to young Guadeloupians, launching a deep thought process on youth whilst urging the latter – in a fairly direct tone – to question itself and its fate. Le Soleil pleurait (2011): Ernest Pépin has left Guadeloupe for a while to paint his portrait of present-day Haitian society and the problem of kidnapping. With his latest publication, he has changed literary genre by writing his first piece of crime fiction: La Darse Rouge, which fuels the debate on the emergence of a new genre – Caribbean crime novels. Ernest was founding member of the Prix des Amériques insulaires and jury member of the Prix RFO du livre. Today he is jury member of the Prix Carbet de la Caraïbe, founded by Édouard Glissant.


Select bibliography


  • Le Soleil pleurait. Vents d'Ailleurs, 2011
  • La Darse Rouge. Caraïbéditions, 2011
  • Toxic Island. Desnel, 2010
  • L'envers du décor. Du Rocher/ Le serpent à Plumes, 2006
  • Cantique des tourterelles. Écriture, 2004
  • Le Tango de la haine. Gallimard, 1999
  • Tambour-Babel. Gallimard, 1996
    • L’Homme-au-bâton. Gallimard, 1992



  • Pour Haïti (collective). Desnel, 2010
  • Dit de la roche gravée. Mémoire d'encrier, 2008
  • Jardin de nuit. L’Harmattan, 2008
  • Hurricane, cris d'insulaires (collective). Desnel, 2005
  • Africa-Solo. Éditions A3, 2001
  • Boucans de mots libres / Remolino de palabras libres. Ed. bilingue, Casa de las Américas, 1991
  • Babil du songer. Ibis Rouge, 1997
  • Salve et salive. Ed. bilingue, Casa de las Américas, 1991
  • Au verso du silence. L’Harmattan, 1984


Writing for young people

  • Le Chien fou (in partnership with the visual artist Marielle Plaisir). Éditions HC, 2006
  • Lettre ouverte à la jeunesse. Éditions Jasor, 2001
  • La Soufrière. Agence de la francophonie CEDA, Hurtubise, 2001
  • L’Écran rouge. Gallimard jeunesse, 1998
  • Coulée d’or. Gallimard jeunesse, 1995

Prizes and distinctions

2011: Prix Robert Delavignette from the Académie des Sciences d'Outre-Mer for Le Soleil pleurait.

2007: Named Knight of the Legion of Honour

2000 : Promoted to Knight of the National Order of Merit and Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters

Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters

2000: Casa de las Américas Prize for L'écran rouge.

2000: Prix Arc-en-Ciel from Radio Media Tropical (Paris) for Le Tango de la haine.

1996: Prix RFO du Livre for Tambour-Babel.

1992: Prix des Caraïbes, for L'Homme au Bâton.

1991: Casa de las Américas Prize for Boucan de Mots Libres.

@La Médiathèque Caraïbe

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