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61 “La colonie du nouveau monde: Condé’s Pessimistic Views of a Caribbean Utopian Community.” MARIE-JOSÉ NZENGOU-TAYO The Caribbean region has not been spared the effects of economic globalization. Island-states are invited not only to link with the continental shores of the Caribbean Sea but also to constitute an integrated regional political and economic block. While, at the top, governments of the region are still pondering the benefits of such a move, at the bottom, ordinary people of the region are already making the most of their Circum-Caribbean connections. A discreet migration, less publicised than the one towards the U.S.A and Canada, takes place within the insular Caribbean and its continental central and southern borders. This intra-regional migration, which has existed since colonial times (inter-island slave trade) took a different shape after emancipation particularly in the English-speaking Caribbean. The construction of the Panama Canal remains the reference point of the islands-continent migration beyond linguistic borders. However, while Martinican and Guadeloupean migration within the Caribbean is seldom acknowledged because of its marginal and occasional nature, Haitian migration unsettles the region. Since the mid-seventies, Haitian workers and peasants have been taking boats toward Florida, the Eastern Caribbean and sometimes as far as the Guianas. Their intra-regional migration makes the headlines every now and then, and Haitian communities are present almost everywhere within the region. Isolated and estranged from the local population, these Haitians try to survive and assist their families back in the home country. Invisible and humiliated migrants, they appear very often in fictional works as symbols of the predicament of the region. Maryse Condé’s 1993 novel La colonie du nouveau monde (New World Settlement)1 set in Colombia offers a fresh look at the island-continent migration. This paper discusses Condé’s representation of this connection and her assessment of a utopian Caribbean project led by a Guadeloupean ‘guru.’ It also examines the part ascribed to a group of Haitians who join the c
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