Dominican Republic author Rita Indiana Hernández was awarded the Grand Prix Littéraire Région Guadeloupe at the fifth Caribbean Writers Congress hosted by the Guadeloupe Regional Authority for her novel “La Mucama de Omicunlé”.
Hernández was born in Santo Domingo in 1977. A writer but also singer-songwriter, she started writing in childhood before developing a passion for music and reinventing the merengue. Her songs lyrics as well as her novels focus primarily on Caribbean social and ethical issues.
La Mucama de Omicunlé (Omicunle’s Room Maid) cautions the reader about the undeniable and inevitable destruction of our world and portrays a clear picture of what will happen if we do not stop the process of dehumanisation and violence.
While this latest novel retains the Dominican rhythm that characterises Hernández, especially through geography, history and linguistic codes, it is also deeply Caribbean and Latin American.
The Grand Prix Littéraire Région Guadeloupe is intended to honour and reward a literary work published in the previous three years in French, English or Spanish. It is awarded by the members of an international jury comprising major literary figures and writers from the Caribbean.
For this edition of the Caribbean Writers Congress, three other nominees competed for the Award:
• Olive Sénior, “The Pain Tree”, (Jamaica), published by Cormorant Books
• Anthony Phelps, “Je Veille Incorrigible Féticheur” (Haiti), published by Bruno Doucey
• Roland Brival, “Nègre de Personne” (Martinique), published by Gallimard
The international jury members were: Andrès Bansart (Venezuela); Earl Lovelace, president of the Caribbean Writers Association (Trinidad and Tobago); Camila Valdés (Cuba); Patricia Donatien (Martinique); Lyonel Trouillot (French language area); Prof. Funso Aiyejina (English language area); and Ariel Camejo (Spanish language area).
The Caribbean Writers Congress aims to contribute to the cultural development of Guadeloupe and Caribbean citizens.