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Rene Depestre

Rene Depestre, born in 1926, is one of the most important voices of Haitian literature. A peer of seminal figures Aime Cesaire, Pablo Neruda, and Andre Breton, Depestre has engaged with the politics/aesthetics of negritude, social realism, and surrealism for more than half a century. Having lived through significant moments in Haitian and New World history-from the overthrow of Haitian dictator Elie Lescot in 1946, to the first Congress of Black Writers and Artists in Paris in 1956, to a struggle with Haiti's Fran ois "Papa Doc" Duvalier in 1957, to a collaboration with Cuban revo- lutionary Che Guevara and a fraught relationship with Fidel Castro in the 1960s and '70s-Depestre is uniquely positioned to reflect on the extent to which the Americas and Europe are implicated in Haiti's past and present.

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