restricted access “Ce pays est un volcan”: Saint-Pierre and the Language of Loss in White Creole Women’s Narratives


The 1902 eruption of Mount Pelée is a powerful and enduring symbol in Martinican literature. In writings by white creole authors, the volcano’s destruction of Saint-Pierre stands in as a symbol for the abolition of slavery and the loss of béké economic and political power. The novels Cœurs martiniquais and Le Sang du volcan, highlight complex and evolving relationships between white creole women and their das, and show both the gendered nature of colonial conquest and the blurring of color lines between Saint-Pierre’s women on the eve of the volcanic eruption.