General Presentation:

Gisèle Pineau was born in 1956 in Paris, to Guadeloupian parents. She is a novelist, short story writer and psychiatric nurse. She first came across Guadeloupe while her father was on administrative leave, as well as her grandmother Man Ya who would incidentally become a major figure in her work. Back in France, Gisèle was well familiar with racism and problems with identity – both themes that she would develop broadly in her novels. 1970: second trip to the French West Indies. Her family lived in Martinique then in Guadeloupe. Gisèle passed her baccalaureate and enrolled in Nanterre University to study Modern Literature, but would have to leave for lack of funding. She became a psychiatric nurse in 1979 and would work in Saint-Claude, Guadeloupe, for more than 20 years. She returned to Paris to live in 2000, but headed back to Guadeloupe in 2009 when she decided to settle in Marie-Galante. Gisèle Pineau has scooped all sorts of literary prizes and her books have been translated into several languages (English, German, Korean, Greek and Dutch for example). Recurring subjects in her work are exile, intolerance, the mix of cultures, search for identity, social reality and the feminine condition in the French West Indies. Through her latest novel, Cent vies et des poussières (2012), Gisèle paints the portrait of a woman called Gina Bovoir, whose insatiable desire to have children is her sole reason for living – to the despair of her eldest daughter Sharon. Here, the author touches on the excesses brought about by consumer society, set against the slavery of the past; a “modern-day Guadeloupe, torn between its past pains and new scourges” (cf. Mercure de France). Gisèle Pineau was the sponsor of the 2012 Book Fair in Pointe-à-Pitre.

Main works


  • Cent vies et des poussières. Mercure de France, 2012
  • L’odyssée d’Alizée. Thierry Magnier, 2010 (for children)
  • Folie, aller simple : Journée ordinaire d'une infirmière. Philippe Rey, 2011
  • Morne Câpresse. Editions Mercure de France, 2008
  • Mes quatre femmes. Philippe Rey, 2007
  • C'est la règle. Thierry Magnier, 2007 (for children)
  • Fleur de Barbarie. Editions Mercure de France, 2005
  • Les Colères du volcan. Editions Dapper, 2004 (for children)
  • Chair piment. Editions Mercure de France, 2002
  • Case Mensonge. Bayard Jeunesse, 2001 (for children)
  • Caraïbes sur Seine. Editions Dapper, 1999 (for children)
  • L'âme prêtée aux oiseaux. Editions Stock, 1998 (for children)
  • L'Exil selon Julia. Editions Stock, 1996
  • L'Espérance-Macadam. Editions Stock, 1995
  • La Grande Drive des esprits. Editions Serpent à Plumes, 1993
  • Un papillon dans la cité. Sepia, 1992 (for children)

Reference work

  • Femmes des Antilles : traces et voix, cent cinquante ans après l'abolition de l'esclavage (with Marie Abraham). Editions Stock, 1998.

Prizes and distinctions

2011: Prix Carbet des lycéens for her novel Folie, aller simple : Journée ordinaire d'une infirmière.

2006: Promoted to Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters

2002: Prix des Hémisphères for Chair Piment.

1999: Prix Roman Jeunesse Maurice 2001 for Caraïbes sur Seine

1996: Prix RFO for L'Espérance macadam

1996: Prix Terre de France and Prix Rotary for L'Exil selon Julia

1994: "Elle" readers Grand Prix for La Grande drive des esprits

1993: Prix Carbet de la Caraïbe for La Grande drive des esprits

@La Médiathèque Caraïbe

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