RECENT NEWS & CURRENT PROJECTS
Currently immersed in an essay about my father's photos taken during the U.S. Occupation of Japan (1947-1950) and look forward to presenting a slide lecture on this topic at the Camden Public Library (Maine) in 2022. After 70 years or so, it seemed like it was time to turn to a deep reflection on this fascinating historical moment... from both sides of the camera. Stay tuned.

My interview with Madison Smartt Bell re: his new biography of Robert Stone appeared in The Critical Flame in March 2020. Find it at http://criticalflame.org/conversations-patti-marxsen-and-madison-smartt-bell/

The 2019 Haitian Studies Association Book Prize was awarded to three books, including JACQUES ROUMAIN: A LIFE OF RESISTANCE. I am honored to share this recognition with scholars Marlene Daut and Jeffrey S. Kahn.

Also in related to Jacques Roumain, a somewhat abbreviated version of my translation of his magnificent 1939 essay "Grievances of the Black Man" appeared in TRANSITION 128: The Magazine of Africa and the Diaspora. (The complete translation is in the Appendices of my biography, which can be ordered from the online catalog of Caribbean Studies Press or from your favorite bookseller.)

***AND THANKS FOR KEEPING MY OTHER BOOKS IN MIND, ESPECIALLY:

HELENE SCHWEITZER: A LIFE OF HER OWN, which was published in April of 2015 by Syracuse University Press. This is the first biography in English about the remarkable woman who was the co-founder and lifelong supporter of the Schweitzer Hospital in Lambarene, Gabon, French Equatorial Africa. She was also a pioneer of social work, registered nurse, and indispensable editorial assistant in the writings of her husband, Dr. Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965). "On Writing the Life of Helene Schweitzer" is a companion essay to this book with resources for BOOK CLUBS. (Kindle Edition Only.)

RIVERSONG OF THE RHONE
The first-ever English translation of "Chant de Notre Rhone" by C. F. Ramuz (1878-1947) appeared in a bilingual edition from Onesuch Press in 2015. This prose poem, originally published in 1920, is an artful ode to the land and the people living along the Rhone River as it winds through Switzerland and France into the Mediterranean Sea. Foreword by Susan Tiberghien. Stay tuned for my translation of Ramuz's 1923 novel, Passage of the Poet (Forthcoming, Skolim).

TALES FROM THE HEART OF HAITI
This venture into short fiction was published by Educa Vision in 2010. I wrote these stories because sometimes fiction is true and also because Haiti needs more thoughtful narratives and self-examination from those who come as "visitors." With one exception, these stories are told from an outsider's angle of vision, a woman trying to understand a complex culture.

TO ORDER ANY OF THESE BOOKS, please contact your preferred bookseller. And if you love bookshops, please support them!

My biography of Jacques Roumain relies on archival research and generations of Haitian, Caribbean, and European scholarship to create an engaging "portrait" of an iconic writer & public intellectual. Foreword by Matthew J. Smith. (Caribbean Studies Press, 2019)
Eight of the nine short stories in this collection are set in Haiti, but all explore the "outsider's lens" we often bring to Haitian culture. These "tales" also address injustice, displacement, and the moral dilemma Haiti often presents to itself and to others. Published by Educa Vision in 2010 after being shortlisted for the Paris Prize for Fiction.

"Helene Schweitzer: A Life of Her Own" appeared in spring 2015 from Syracuse University Press. Please see the BOOK TALK page of this website for further info and endorsements of this first biography of the little-known wife of Dr. Albert Schweitzer.
A companion to "Helene Schweitzer: A Life of Her Own," this essay speaks to readers and writers as it reflects on the biographer's journey and engages readers in the process of interpreting a life of a remarkable woman who happened to be married to one of the most famous men of the mid-twentieth century. Kindle Edition Only.

What a pleasure it was to bring this "ode to the Rhone" first published in French in 1920 by C.F. Ramuz into English. As the author said himself, "One sings here of the soul of a river, and this soul never dies."
These essays go beneath the surface of life in Switzerland as they combine culture, history, and personal experience in what has often been referred to as "an island in the center of Europe." The 2nd Edition includes "Gateau de Payerne," winner of the Geneva Writers Non-Fiction Literary Award in 2013.

OFFSHOOTS 14 - WRITING FROM GENEVA, the biennial literary journal of the Geneva Writers' Group (2017) includes the work of over 40 Anglophone writers. I was pleased to serve as guest editor-in-chief for this edition. Theme: Fragile States. Photographs by Alistair Scott and artfully designed by Sue Niewiarowski.
Seven essays on islands with French connections focus on the culture, history, and one woman's experience of travel amidst these "floating worlds." This book was a finalist in the Writers' League of Texas Nonfiction Book Awards (2009).










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