Nights of Storytelling: A Cultural History of New Caledonia, edited by Raylene Ramsay, is the first book to present and contextualize the founding texts of New Caledonia, a country sui generis in the relatively little-known French Pacific. Extracts from literary, ethnographic, and historical works in English translation introduce the many voices of a diverse culture as it moves toward “independence” or the “common destiny” framed by the 1998 Noumea Agreements. These texts reflect the coexistence of two major cultures, indigenous and European, shaped by the energies and shadows of empire and significantly influenced by one another.
Nights of Storytelling is a collaborative work complemented by La nuit des contes, a subtitled DVD of images and text, which features key works read or spoken, generally in the original French. It provides visual and aural access for the book’s Anglophone readers to the specific cultural, linguistic, and geographic contexts of these historical and literary works.
November 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3222-3 / $49.00 (CLOTH + DVD)