Book Chapter

Exile: Rupture and continuity in Jean Vanmai's Chân Đǎng and Fils de Chân Đǎng


Exile cultures, misplaced identities | Rodopi | Published : 2008


This chapter focuses on the work of the New Caledonian-born writer Jean Vanmai. His novels, Chân Dang (1980) and Fils de Chân Dang (1983), de-scribe the working conditions and exilic existence of the little known Chân Dang, the voluntary workers from Tonkin (North Vietnam) who moved to New Caledonia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Descended himself from a Chân Dang family, Vanmai wishes to preserve the memory of the Chân Dang’s past. In writing the Chân Dang’s story, Vanmai sees himself as the guardian of the Chân Dang’s collective memory, a keeper and defender of their common past. The chapter argues that in his depictions of the Chân Dang, Vanmai breaks the silence surrounding c..

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University of Melbourne Researchers