Chamoiseau was born on December 3, 1953 in Fort-de-France, Martinique, where he currently resides. After he studied law in Paris he returned to Martinique inspired by Édouard Glissant to take a close interest in Creole culture. Chamoiseau is the author of a historical work on the Antilles under the reign of Napoléon Bonaparte and several non-fiction books which include Éloge de la créolité (In Praise of Creoleness), co-authored with Jean Bernabé and Raphaël Confiant. Awarded the Prix Carbet (1990) for Antan d’enfance. His novel Texaco was awarded the Prix Goncourt in 1992, and was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. It has been described as "a masterpiece, the work of a genius, a novel that deserves to be known as much as Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth and Cesaire’s Return to My Native Land".
Chamoiseau may also safely be considered as one of the most innovative writers to hit the French literary scene since Louis-Ferdinand Céline. His freeform use of French language — a highly complex yet fluid mixture of constant invention and "creolism" — fuels a poignant and sensuous depiction of Martinique people in particular and humanity at large.