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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Ardain Isma: An author’s journey

ard2aJacob Davis

CSMS Magazine Staff Writer

Coming soon is a documentary on the life and progress of Ardain Isma as a writer. Jamaican filmmaker Dean Noel produced this documentary. The author’s writing style and message have been attracting a lot of readers. In a yet-to-be-released new novel titled When a Lone Bird Cries, Ardain’s brand of literary of resistance takes aim at injustice being committed against children in servitude or Restavek in his homeland of Haiti. Céline Bodin, the daughter of an aristocratic family, rebels against the social order to come to the rescue of Louisinette, a rape victim. Here is what Karen Cole said of Lone Bird. Mrs. Cole is an influential literary critic and author from Seattle, Washington:    

Really, it gave me an overall feeling that I was in Haiti, and I was somehow with the people there. It was a nice feeling, sort of like I had a chance to go somewhere I’ve never been before, and spend some time with the families and the people there, from a distance…I felt like I was visiting Haiti and that the writer, a Black man, was sympathetic to the cause of being against rape and doing something about it, and making it into something important politically.

Basically, the point behind a work of fiction is to make you feel like you are there, among the characters and in the situations. It could be argued that [the author] politicized rape. However, rape IS a political matter; “the personal is political” is a feminist statement from sometime around the 1960s –an attempt to state that somehow, women, girls, whoever and rape victims in general matter. Politically, as well as personally. Or in short, that Louisinette didn’t commit the crime, she wasn’t imagining things, it wasn’t “just her personally,” she means something human and real, somewhere along those lines. That just because she was a poor restavek, that doesn’t mean the rape didn’t matter. Nowadays, the phrase for Louisinette in the States is “bullying victim.” She shows you how someone could conceivably stand up to The Bully.

Lone Bird is an idealized approach to dealing with a rather serious moral and sociological problem, one which I’ve experienced rather harshly myself. I applaud your efforts, in fact. It’s a darn sight better than what Bill Cosby apparently did, if those charges about him are true, don’t you think? Same with Woody Allen and God knows who all else. Anything done in Real Life, even a daydream direction or an attempt to make “book money” off the ideas expressed, or an attempt to sow some political thoughts in the general direction of being anti-rape seems good to THIS rape victim. I hate to tell you this, Ardain, but in my background I practically am Louisinette. –Karen Cole, literary critic and author.  

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