Uncovering Adrienne Fidelin: Disorderly Subjectivity in Gisèle Pineau’s Ady, soleil noir

Bonnie Thomas, Beth Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In her 2021 novel Ady, soleil noir, Guadeloupean author Gisèle Pineau draws on her imaginative and historical skills to reimagine the life and subjectivity of Adrienne Fidelin (1915–2004), a Guadeloupean dancer in 1930s Paris and a little-known muse, model, and lover of American photographer Man Ray. Winner of the 2021 Prix du roman historique, the book offers a compelling interpretation of how Fidelin, staged as the first-person narrator ‘Ady’, may have understood her identity among artists of the avant-garde milieu and as a woman of colour within the context of 1930s Paris. This article examines the ‘disorderly’ subjectivity of the novel’s narrator-protagonist, to adopt Kaiama Glover’s term, arguing that she negotiates the challenges underpinning her status as a woman of colour in Western avant-garde culture and, in doing so, chooses to prioritize her own selfhood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-245
JournalFrancosphères
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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