SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Centenary College will be the featured publishing house at the Book Festival of Montreal. The festival called, “Salon du livre de Montreal” is the second largest French-language book festival in the world.
Out of 700 major publishing house booths, Centenary College’s booth, “Les Editions Tintamarre,” will be the spotlight to an estimated 150,000 festival guests.
“The whole francophone world is giving a look at the literature of Louisiana that has actually never been available before,” said executive director of Les Editions Tintamarre, Dana Kress.
Les Editions Tintamarre is dedicated to preserving and publishing American literature written in languages other than English, languages that contribute to Louisiana’s rich culture of French, French-Canadian, German, Spanish, African, and Caribbean peoples.
The publishing house has over 80 titles, but Kress says they will be bringing books that “show the breadth of what was accomplished and is being accomplished in Louisiana in French letters.”
“The Creoles of Color from New Orleans in the 19th century accomplished unheard-of things. It’s not just the first short story in African American literature, it’s the first 10 short stories of African American literature were written in French here in Louisiana,” said Kress.
He says this dedication to preservation is their mission because they wish to highlight the voices of marginalized peoples.
Kress showed a manuscript called, “Recueil de poesies et de proses,” translated to the collection of poetry and prose. It is 2,000 pages of writing by many Black authors, compiled by a Black Civil War soldier between 1866 and 1889.
Kress called the work, “a national treasure that exists.”
“We’re rescuing a lot of literature that was threatened to be lost. But it has the work the writing and the ideas of marginalized people. In each case, no matter what language it’s in. We’ve been the champion of marginalized groups, that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Kress.
Dana Kress, Dr. Andia Augustin-Billy, associate professor of French and Francophone Studies, and Dr. Ryan Doherty, who joined the College this fall as assistant professor of French will travel to Montreal for the festival.
Salon du livre de Montreal will go from November 22 through 27.