Country

USA

General presentation

Madison Smartt Bell was born in 1957 in Nashville, Tennessee, where he spent his childhood. He lived in New York and then in London before finally settling in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Princeton and Hollins University, where he won several prizes. He teaches Creative Writing and is a Professor at Goucher College in Towson (Maryland) as well as being a well-known author with fourteen novels as well as many other types of work to his credit, including essays and criticism for Harper, New York Review of Books and The Village Voice. His novel Doctor Sleep was made into a film under the French title Hypnotic. All Souls’ Rising (1995) and the following two volumes of his Haitian trilogy bring to life the drama of the country’s Revolution from the beginning of the slave revolt in 1791 to the final defeat of Napoleon’s army and Haiti’s Declaration of Independence in 1804. In the trilogy, the public drama of the Haitian Revolution goes side-by-side with the interior psychological drama of the main character’s transformation. In 2007, Madison Smartt Bell published a biography of Toussaint Louverture, and in 2009 he was a guest at the “Etonnants Voyageurs” International Book and Film Festival held annually in Saint-Malo in France. His latest novel The Color of Night (translated into French) is a modern myth that the author says was “dictated by demons”.

Select bibliography

  • The Color of Night. Vintage, 2011. (La Couleur de la nuit. Translated by Pierre Girard, published by Actes Sud, 2011).
  • Devil's Dream. Pantheon, 2009.
  • Charm City. Crown, 2007.
  • Freedom's Gate: A Brief Life of Toussaint L'Ouverture. Pantheon, 2007 (Toussaint Louverture. Translated by Pierre Girard, published by Actes Sud, 2007).
  • Lavoisier in the Year One: The Birth of a New Science in: an Age of Revolution. Norton, 2005.
  • The Stone That the Builder Refused. Pantheon, 2004 (La pierre du bâtisseur. Translated by Pierre Girard, published by Actes Sud, 2004).
  • Anything Goes. Pantheon, 2002 (La Ballade de Jesse. Translated by Pierre Girard, published by Actes Sud, 2009).
  • Master of the Crossroads. Pantheon, 2000 (Le maître des carrefours. Translated by Pierre Girard, published by Actes Sud, 2000).
  • All Souls' Rising. Pantheon, 1995 (Le soulèvement des âmes. Translated by Pierre Girard, published by Actes Sud, 1995)
  • Ten Indians. Pantheon, 1996 (Dix Indiens. Translated by Pierre Girard, published by Actes Sud, 1997).
  • Save me, Joe Louis. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1993 (Save me, Joe Louis. Translated by Pierre Girard, published by Actes Sud, 1994).
  • Doctor Sleep. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991.
  • Barking Man. Ticknor & Fields, 1990.
  • Soldier's Joy (novel) (Ticknor & Fields, 1989) (Penguin Contemporary American Fiction Series, 1990).
  • The Year Of Silence. Ticknor & Fields, 1987 (L'année du silence. Translated by Pierre Girard, published by Actes Sud, 1987).
  • Straight Cut. Ticknor & Fields, 1986 (Coupes sombres. Translated by Pierre Girard, published by Actes Sud, 1987).

Prizes and distinctions

2008: Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

2001: John Dos Passos Prize

1996: 1996: Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award for the best book on questions of race, for All Souls' Rising.

1996: Hollins University Andrew James Purdy Prize in the “fiction” category.

1991-1992: Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award

1977 – 1978: Princeton University Mathis Ward and Francis LeMoyne Page Prizes.

@La Médiathèque Caraïbe

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