I want here to acknowledge the work of the poets, writers, and
singers, among them Aime Cesaire, Maryse Conde, Firmin Viry,
and Boris Gamaleya, who gave Creole culture, literature, and lan-
guage its deserved place. I want to thank the friends and activists
in Reunion who, with their political action, had a large impact on
this book, and Djamila Bouhired, whose courage inspired my
Many of the people I have to thank will recognize parts of conver-
sation in these pages. Others will probably be surprised to see the
which some ongoing exchanges have ultimately led.
thank Professor Albert Memmi and Professor Hanna
Fenichel Pitkin, who generously gave me their time, advice, and
support. The Regional Council of Reunion Island, the University
of California at Berkeley, and the Doreen B. Townsend Center for
the Humanities gave me their financial support.
The evolution of my research owes a personal debt to a group of
close friends and colleagues, who throughout the years listened to
me and helped in any way they could, and who, with their com-
ments and continual stimulation, made this project a worthy en-
deavor. They are so many that I am bound to forget some of them,
but they must know that I remain deeply indebted
all of them.
In Reunion, they are Remi Boniface, Ghislene Cailliere, Cecile