The Mauritian poet and diplomat Edouard Maunick died on Saturday April 10 in Paris at the age of 89, we learned from those around him.
Born in Flacq (Mauritius) in 1931, he had chosen the French language for his work, which began with the collection “These blood birds” in 1954. This work, signed by a writer who claimed to be “Mixed blood”, evokes his love for a native country where interbreeding is the norm.
Qualified for “Negro poet of the second generation” by Léopold Sédar Senghor, who prefaced one of his works, he left for the French capital in 1960, penniless. He was a journalist there, among others for France Culture and RFI radios and the weekly Jeune Afrique.
Contribution to the “influence of French literature”
Edouard Maunick was Mauritius’ ambassador to South Africa after the change of regime in 1994, he who had devoted to the new president of this country while he was imprisoned a “Mandela dead or alive” (1986). He also made a career within Unesco in the years 1980-1990.
The French Academy has rewarded him twice: for having contributed to the “Influence of the French language and literature” in 1990, and the Grand Prix de la Francophonie in 2003. A Mauritius poetry prize has been named after him since 2016.