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Reading Groups

Stories from the Margins: Francophone Women Writers on Love, Loss, and Memory with Lise Schreier


Five Sessions

Out of stock

Tuesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT March 8 to June 14, 2022

The Center for Fiction*

Meeting Dates:
3/8, 3/29, 4/19, 5/17, 6/14

Marie Vieux-Chauvet, Simone Schwarz-Bart, Marguerite Duras, Malika Mokeddem, and Alice Zeniter do not have much in common. Duras was born in Vietnam in 1914, Vieux-Chauvet in Haiti in 1916. Schwarz-Bart was born in 1938 to Guadeloupean parents. Mokeddem, born in the Sahara desert in 1949, is the daughter of illiterate nomads. The youngest of them, Zeniter, was born in France in 1986 to an Algerian father and French mother. Yet these five women all produced astonishing novels inspired by their life experiences in countries formerly colonized by France, or still part of it (as is the case with Schwartz-Bart). Not only that, but they also all wrote their stories in French. The ways they depict the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and North Africa help better understand the ravages of colonialism, the importance of historical memory, and the resilience of those who are not men, not wealthy, not white, not powerful, not French. Their tales of love, hardship, and liberation place marginalized women at the center of the narrative; they are now widely viewed as masterpieces of francophone literature.

*Subject to change to virtual if COVID-19 protocols indicate. To attend this in-person reading group, please email your proof of vaccination to prior to visiting The Center. Mask wearing will be required throughout the building. Accepted vaccination proofs include:

  • an image of your CDC vaccination card
  • a screenshot or scanned printout of your Excelsior pass
  • a record of vaccination from the healthcare provider who gave you your vaccine

If you remain unvaccinated because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief, please also contact us at for assistance or to request a reasonable accommodation. 


Led by

  • Lise schreier

    Dr. Lise-Ségolène Schreier

    Dr. Lise-Ségolène Schreier

    Dr. Lise-Ségolène Schreier is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Fordham University. Her studies of gender, colonialism, material culture and cultural violence have drawn on diverse material such as nineteenth-century feminist newspapers, medical travelogues, fashion plates, children’s literature, vaudeville theater and early comics. Her current book project, Playthings of Empire: Child-Gifting and the Politics of French Femininity, follows the changes in French textual and visual representations of African children used as gifts, pets and fashion accessories during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is the recipient of a Children’s Literature Association Diversity Grant, an American Philosophical Society Grant, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.