Unseen Worlds: A Reading With Marilène Phipps

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10/09/2018 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Alliance Française Mpls/St Paul

Unseen Worlds: A Memoir of Haiti

Alliance Française welcomes author, painter and poet Marilène Phipps for a reading and discussion. She will share from her recently published memoir “Unseen Worlds: Adventures at the Crossroads of Vodou Spirits and Latter-day Saints.”


In her own words, Haiti is “the magical island of African Vodou gods who followed their devotees on the slave ships, and the world’s first black republic — the singular cultural context and exotic milieu of the Caribbean, where hell and paradise can transfix us daily.”

In this powerful memoir, we enter the lives of descendants of European aristocrats and African slaves. We meet Phipps’s godfather, the rebel leader Guslé Villedrouin, and we relive her experiences with Vodou priests and spirits, a cold-eyed pope, a charismatic Muslim astrologer, Catholic monks and exorcists, American Mormon bishops, scholars and missionaries. Through it all, Phipps stirs us with the antithetical feel of entitlement and destitution, barbarism and lyricism, infinity and insanity.

The 2010 earthquake in Haiti brings a collapse to Phipps’s world. But it also led her to find modern answers to the ancient questions, ”Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?”

About the author: Marilène Phipps

Marilène Phipps held fellowships at the Guggenheim Foundation, Harvard’s Bunting Institute, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, as well as the Center for the Study of World Religions. Her collection, The Company of Heaven: Stories from Haiti, won the Iowa Short Fiction Award. Marilène’s poetry won the 1993 Grolier poetry prize, and her collection, Crossroads and Unholy Water also won the Crab Orchard Poetry Prize. Her work is found in American anthologies and collections such as The Best American Short StoriesHaiti Noir: The ClassicsThe Beacon BestPloughsharesRiver StyxCallaloo, and Harvard Divinity Bulletin.

View her artwork and more on her website at marilenephipps.com.

This event is $5 for AF Members, $10 for general public.
Please RSVP in advance for this event here or by calling our office at (612) 332-0436.

All attendees who register in advance will be entered into a raffle for one of two free copies of “Unseen Worlds” !


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Alliance Française Mpls/St Paul
227 Colfax Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Tel: 612 332 0436

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