Maryse Conde is a French novelist born on February 11, 1937 in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. As a child, she was the youngest of eight children and therefore turned to reading as an escape from the haste of her everyday life. After graduating from high school, she attended the University of Paris to study comparative literature. Her foray into the literary scene began with novel-writing; some of her more acclaimed pieces include I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem, Segu, and The Tree of Life. She is also known for her plays, one of which is The Tropical Breeze Hotel, produced in 1995 on a New York stage.
The Tropical Breeze Hotel tells the story of a Parisian dancer who falls in love with a man fleeing from the dictatorship of Haitian president Jean-Claude Duvalier. However, the man clearly manipulates her kindness and insecurities to ensure his own safety. While the play has its humorous moments, it is primarily a story of devastating loss and sacrifice.
Upon its production, The Tropical Breeze Hotel received mixed to positive reviews from audiences and critics for its harrowing portrayal of a one-sided love gone wrong. DJR Bruckner of The New York Times states that Conde “has written a play that is more novelistic than dramatic. But what happens in it is so engaging that when and why seem peripheral questions.” Since this play was produced, Conde has returned to novel-writing and has released numerous books, including Windward Heights, Who Slashed Celanire's Throat?: A Fantastical Tale, The Story of the Cannibal Woman: A Novel, and Victoire: My Mother's Mother.