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Dominique Lancastre

Dominique Lancastre

Paris, France

Dominique Lancastre is a previously published author in the French language. He studied Chinese and Japanese for three years at the National Institute of Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

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About the author

Dominique Lancastre is from Vieux-Habitants in Guadeloupe and currently living in Paris , France. He attended Université de Paris-12, where he obtained a D.E.U.G. (Diplôme d’études universitaires générales, roughly equivalent to an associate degree), a bachelor’s degree in American art and civilization, and a master’s degree in American studies. He later received a D.E.A. (Diplôme d’Études Approfondies, a doctoral degree) in American studies. His master’s thesis topic under the direction of Catherine Collomp focused on educational inequality in the United States. Dominique studied Chinese and Japanese for three years at the National Institute of Eastern Languages and Civilizations (Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, INALCO) in Paris. He has served as an English teacher in several middle and high schools of Académie Paris-Versailles-Créteil, as a jury member for the competitive examination, and as a jury member, grader, and examiner for the Baccalaureate exam. In January of 2015 he founded the multicultural magazine He is currently part of the commercial crew for British Airways. He is the author of La Véranda (translated in Martinique and Guadeloupe Creole in 2019), Retour à la Grivelière, Une Femme chambardée, Tambours du silence, a poetry book (2019) Le Secret d’Igor is his last book published. He contributes to collective works such as Nouvelles des Mondes Créoles under the direction of Raphael Confiant with authors like Dany Laferrière (Académie de France).
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A Woman In Turmoil

Helena's story is a discovery of the Caribbean way of living, thinking, and behaving far from the idyllic life of the postcard tropical sunsets and fine sandy beaches. Under the shadow of La Soufrière, people are suffering and fighting to keep themselves alive. To some extent Helena is as bubbling as the volcano that shakes the island.

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Literary Fiction
55,000 words
100% complete
4 publishers interested


In 1976 La Soufrière volcano erupted in Guadeloupe. This event is the backstory of A Woman in Turmoil. Helena is a rather atypical Caribbean mother. She does not talk much, and so we learn things through her different thoughts. She has an only son which is exceedingly rare for the West Indies. As a housewife, she never thought she would return to work one day. Her alcoholic husband died leaving her in great need to take care of herself and her son; she is confronted with lots of adventures sometimes tragic.

As the story develops the reader begins to realise the connection between the volcano and Helena. Keeping silent gives her the power to assess different situations. She controls her anger, frustration and pain using humour and self-criticism.

A Woman in Turmoil is not merely the story of a woman trying to fight her way through society. Helena is more than that; she embodies the reality of living in the tropics from a sociological as well as a political aspect.

The book is divided into 3 chapters: Eruption- Rebirth- Uprooting. The following extracts give an idea of the unfolding drama.

Chapter 1 - Eruption

[...]At her husband’s death, she gave up marrying again. A drunk, she said, who was good for nothing, plain, and whose death she had predicted, his head down in the gutter.
Her predictions turned out to be true, when one morning she was told that following a quarrel in a cockpit, he had been stabbed and left lying like a dog in a stream, bleeding to death. The money he was reluctant to give Helena and that he wasted so liberally finally got the better of him.
Helena’s heart was as hard as a rock. Over the years, she had been submitted to all sorts of maliciousness from that husband who was good for nothing except bringing her trouble. She welcomed the news like a believer opens his mouth to receive the holy bread on Sunday at the altar. Like a kid following his master with a pot of salt.
Helena yelled, then rolled her eyes, and as they were getting ready to hold her, thinking the news had shaken her like you shake a star apple tree from head to bottom, as they thought she was going to start running in the courtyard like a hen brooding her chicks that had been disturbed, as they were about to apply Bay rum on her head or to give her smelling salts for fear of something bad happening to her, and as the neighbors, moved, their heads turned into burnt savannah by the wind, were running to the rescue yelling she had to be held, she fell on her knees and said:
- “ Mèci bondié misérabe la allé.” (Thank God the wretched man is finally gone).
From then on, one knew that nothing could sadden this woman, whose heart at the news of the death of someone close had remained as hard as a yellowish “tuff” volcanic rock, heart that neither a chisel or hammerhead nor jackhammer could pierce. But she hadn’t always been so. Life, by knocking her over and over again, had made her bitter and tough.
The funeral was even more outlandish than the announcement of the death. Helena didn’t shed a single tear and organized a big banquet that turned into a mock community party barbecue rather than awake.
Rum flowed like water. [...]

Chapter 2 -Rebirth
Excerpt Poem:

The volcano rumbled and the earth shook
The wind blew and the house capsized
The clouds blackened and cried all night
The streams swelled, the river overflowed
Carrying me here and there through the currents
By crushing fragile branches
Making me twirl with rage and fury
Without branches or twigs, the foam suffocates me
The sharp blades between sky and earth
Mommy, Mommy
Angry drums smash my ears
Blue razors cut the sky
Without branches or twigs, I drift in a spiral
The gates of eternity have just opened
I hover, I swim like the first nine months
In the mother's womb
In the sky, circles of black messenger birds
And, my mother, the sea welcomes me within her
Mommy, Mommy, I found you

Chapter 3 - Uprooting

When Helena entered this apartment, she immediately realized that no man was living there. There were no men's shoes at the entrance nor any shirts hanging from the windows. The place was ordered . She had not asked any question of her sister when she had been sent the letter announcing Tatiana's surprise birth. On the way from the airport to the house, she had noticed that she was talking about everything and nothing, reviving the past and omitting the present. So she refrained from asking her any questions. A large room divided in two, a kitchen with a small window. Helena noticed the cold and humidity in the toilet when she asked Esmeralda to go there. A small window with an opaque glass looked out onto a wall where two large pipes passed. The place was dark. The sun didn't seem to penetrate. The kitchen was well arranged.

She had surely done a thorough house cleaning to welcome her. In one corner of the room, an old cradle stood which she had unearthed at the flea market. Helena gazed around this room.

It was in places like this that some lived, hiding from their parents the harsh reality of life in the metropolis.

Outside, it was still raining. It had been hours since Helena had arrived and it was still raining. She approached the window. Everything was ugly in this infernal greyness that some described in letters as paradise, the escape. She didn't understand what attracted people to come here and endure such conditions.

Sales arguments

  • A woman in turmoil was first published in French and some teachers found the story remarkably interesting for their students. One teacher used the story over a period of 2 years and the book was selected for their final exam.
  • Jacqueline Couti received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in the area of French and Francophone Studies and New World/Transatlantic Studies. She taught at several institutions, including the University of Virginia and the University of Kentucky. At Rice, she is a core faculty member of the program in European Studies. Professor Couti wrote a very concise postface of A woman in turmoil
  • Marie-Andrée Ciprut, psychologist-psychotherapist and writer wrote the introduction.
  • Pierre Giraud, professor of piano and conservatory and writer, also wrote a presentation
  • over 11k followers Facebook/ on Instagram, Twitter (Pluton-Magazine boutique online, Shop online a selection of books)

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The book should bring some elements for people interested in the French Carribean , there are very few books from those islands published in English so it is a good opportunity to embrace something new and to learn about more about the history

Advance praise

Euzhan Palcy wrote the introduction of my first book : La veranda
Born in Martinique, Euzhan Palcy is a film director, writer and producer. In 1983, she directed Sugar Cane Alley (Rue Cases Nègres) putting the French West Indies on cinema’s world stages. This critically acclaimed movie went on to win the prestigious Cesar award (French Academy Award) for best first film making Euzhan Palcy the first black director (male or female) to be granted this prestigious award. Sugar Cane Alley (Rue Cases Nègres) won more than 17 international awards including the Silver Lion and Best Actress awards at the Venice Film Festival.

Euzhan Palcy successfully brought back Marlon Brando to cinema screens with the anti-apartheid film, A Dry White Season. She travelled to South Africa defying the special section of the apartheid regime with the help of Dr. Nthato

Motlana, Nelson Mandela’s personal physician and friend, who smuggled her into Soweto undercover. She received the Orson Welles award for this film in Los Angeles in 1989.

After his historic release from Robben Island in 1990, the newly elected President Mandela watched the film and invited her to South Africa in 1995 (during the first anniversary of his election). Therefore, she directed and produced the never before seen interview titled My Chat with President Nelson Mandela. (

4 publishers interested Express interest
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Looking for titles that teach, promote, and encourage understanding, tolerance, peace, environmental preservation, health, and wellness.

Brandylane is a small, independent press, founded in 1985, that publishes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, and children’s books. We publish under a traditional arrangement and also offer a cooperative track for emerging authors. We believe that books make a difference, that lives and the world are changed by the power of words and images, and that large publishing houses neglect a wealth of good writing. We are not looking for mainstream read-it-before self-help.

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  • Update #2 - Translation in progress Jan. 12, 2021

    Hello everyone

    Just to tell you that the translator is working on A woman in turmoil and as soon as it is done I will ...

  • Update #1 - A woman in turmoil 1 Dec. 3, 2020

    Hello everyone

    Thank you for supporting A Woman in Turmoil. The campaign is over and I am in discussion with a publisher . As you probably know ...

  • Diana Neverson
    on Oct. 28, 2020, 1:38 p.m.

    Really look forward to receiving your book. Thank you and well done.

    • Dominique Lancastre
      on Nov. 3, 2020, 7:19 p.m.

      Thank you for your support and I hope like you more british readers enjoy the story.

  • Alfred Carey Jr
    on Oct. 29, 2020, 6:54 p.m.

    I can’t wait to get my hands on your book and read it. I was intrigued by the excerpts that you posted from “A Woman in Turmoil.”

    Wishing you much success!

    • Dominique Lancastre
      on Nov. 3, 2020, 7:22 p.m.

      Thank you for your nice pre-order. I know it is a story from the French carribean and we do have lovely and interesting stories from those islands. It is about time to discover them. Many thanks

  • Maya Cummings
    on Nov. 1, 2020, 4:44 p.m.


    • Anonymous
      on Nov. 3, 2020, 7:14 p.m.

      Thank you and all the best for the Election. I know you have been very busy.

    • Dominique Lancastre
      on Nov. 3, 2020, 7:18 p.m.

      Thank you and all the best for the Election. I know you have been very busy. I am sure you will enjoy that story.