Haiti Now interviews Gabriel Osson, author of Hubert, le restavèk, to hear his thoughts and hopes for survivors of domestic servitude.
Gabriel Osson is a poet, novelist and a painter. Born in Port-au-Prince (Haiti), he lives in Toronto. He gives lectures and conducts writing workshops for different audiences, whether retirees or high school students in French-language schools in Ontario on the “Mordus des mots tour. Very involved in Toronto's Francophonie, Gabriel is the president of the Association of Authors and Authors of French Ontario (AAOF). Passionate about the environment Gabriel also sits on the board of directors of the Trees That Feed Foundation, which plants trees in different countries and the Education Leadership Institute which provides annual teacher’s training in Haiti. He also hosts the weekly program Franco Découvertes on Toronto's French-language radio station CHOQ FM 105.1. His paintings are found in several private collections. After two collections of poetry, Efflorescences et Envolées, he published I walked on the stars _ Seven lessons learned on the way to Santiago de Compostela, a poetic narrative that recounts his experience of Camino. His first novel, Hubert, le restavèk, published by Éditions David, earned him a finalist in the 2017 Christine-Dumitriu-van-Saanen Award. This first novel brings Gabriel Osson to travel across Ontario, invites him to the book fair in Brussels, Paris, Haiti, Quebec.
In this interview, Gabriel discusses his goals for his novel, the messages he wants to communicate, his personal experiences with the restavek system, and coming developments for his book, including work on an english language version.
Gabriel hopes to sell 400,000 copies of Hubert, le restavèk with a plan to provide a copy for each child restavèk in Haiti, and to donate all copyright royalties will be donated to organizations assisting Haiti's restavèks.