The continued strategic importance of the Indian Ocean has led to contests over the sovereignty and integrity of its islands and territorial waters. Francophone Mauritian writers have been vocal about a situation they have denounced as unacceptable. Their literary engagement with our fragile planet and its species offers strong aesthetic responses to urgent political impasses. Ananda Devi’s eponymous character Joséphin entertains a relation with the Indian Ocean that can be read as a layered parable of the end of man. Her novel is a brilliant poetic translation of Michel Foucault’s view of history careening toward the vanishing point of the human as well as a powerful echo of traditional Hindu cultural beliefs about the continuum between human and animal life-forms, about rebirth and regeneration. For Édouard Maunick, the island itself is the site of a creative beginning, where new forms of culture and identity are created in the crucibles of colonization and creolization. For Marie-Thérèse Humbert, ocean waves are the ambivalent vector of a rebirth that returns the island and its occupants—human, animal, vegetal and elemental—to a utopian state of uneasy equilibrium beyond the lies and vagaries of neocolonial dispossession.

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