There is currently in Madagascar a rich literary production (short stories, poetry, novels, plays) that has not yet reached the United States for lack of diffusion outside the country. Until recently, Madagascar suffered from political isolation resulting from its breakup with France in the 1970s and the eighteen years of Marxism that followed.
With little hope that their voices would be heard outside the island, writers nevertheless have continued to express themselves in French (alongside a literature written in the Malagasy language). Malagasy literature in French had begun in the colonial era with three poets: Jean–Joseph Rabearivelo, Jacques Rabemananjara, and Flavien Ranaivo, all three presented in Léopold Senghor’s celebrated Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malgache (1948).
More recently, although a few Malagasy writers living outside the country have been published in France, the bulk of Malagasy literature today has remained largely unpublished, circulating locally mostly in manuscript form. Voices from Madagascar will bring a wide selection of these texts, both in French and in English, to the North American public.