Dispatches From Martinique

At the age of 22, I left London to teach English in a Caribbean high school. The UK had just voted to leave the EU and, during my time abroad, Donald Trump became president of the USA. I jumped from one tiny island with a fraught relationship with ‘Europe’ to another, the island of Martinique, a department (or perhaps modern-day colony) of France. I began to write of my experiences in a new place and an entirely new culture, sorting through the mess of the past and the mess of the present. In doing so, I found my prose voice as a writer, and my life shifted in significant and wildly unexpected ways, sometimes quietly, sometimes with deafening cries. The following entries deal with heartbreak, mental illness, sexual harassment, sexism, racism, history, modern-day politics, despair, empowerment and joy. They can be read either chronologically or individually. I hope you enjoy them.

I dedicate them to my students and friends in Martinique.

Table of Contents

1  Gunmen and Hurricanes

2  Bats in the Tumult

3  Toussaints

4  Dancing Together, Far Away

5  Teenagers

6  Cat in Heat and Sister Sea

7  Matado

8  Carnaval

9  Bus Queen

10 Transit

 

Written and posted September 2016 – May 2017.

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The online portfolio of Mariella Hudson, Irish-Peruvian writer and podcaster. @mariella_hudson

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