In the opening pages of Gisèle Pineau’s, L’Espérance–macadam, the female narrator’s language is broken, fragmented, as the body of the text itself reflects the passing of a cyclone or, as it is called in the novel, ‘Le passage de La Bête’. There is a direct link between the violence and violation of the woman’s body by the ‘Beast’, which in the novel is both man and cyclone — man as cyclone — and the Guadeloupean landscape. This dual force not only razes the landscape, destroying vegetation and homes, but is used metaphorically to describe analogous acts of violence by men against the physical landscape of the female body. The novel begins and ends with a cyclone and it is within this seasonal, cyclical or what I would like to call cyclonic, structure that Pineau takes us into the community of Savane.



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