Article Title

Voice and Resistance in Maryse Condé's Le Cœur à rire et à pleurer: Dynamics of Race, Gender, and Écriture Féminine

Graduation Year



As a collection of autobiographical short stories or vignettes, Le cœur à rire et à pleurer(Tales From the Heart: True Stories From my Childhood, 1999) represents Guadeloupean author Maryse Condé's (1937 - ) interaction with and dismissal of multiple forms of oppression. As Condé makes use of storytelling and her childhood memories to explore issues of her identity and societal role, her writing transforms into a self-declaration of social change and equality. This paper aims to identify and examine Conde's denial of constructs of Otherness, in her persistent effort to resist the cycle of oppression and to dismiss the generational pressures to conform to patriarchal and colonial values. Informed by psychoanalytic theory and feminist criticism, Condé adapts her own écriture féminine (women’s writing) to assert the significance of women’s voices as tools in breaking the silence of abjection and dismantling hierarchical notions of power.


Maria Klingele was awarded a Phi Beta Kappa Liberal Arts Scholar Award for her research. "I think that interdisciplinary research is important because in order to fully understand a concept, theory, idea, etc., you must study the various disciplines that influence and contribute to the construction of such ideas. In my experience, I found that interdisciplinary research was very helpful toward understanding the depth of Maryse Conde's novel because the complexities of social systems and the issues she raised required the knowledge of multiple areas of study. For example, I needed to study psychoanalytic theory, post-colonial theory, and feminist literary criticism in order to understand the construction of the notion of the 'Other' and see how the multiple forms of oppression affect everyone in society. Currently, I am a student teacher of French and plan to officially graduate at the end of December(2013). I am hoping to bring what I learned from my research paper into my French classes.”