Skip to Main Content

France & French Collections at the Library of Congress

Americas & the Caribbean

There are large populations of French-speakers from Canada to Louisiana down to the overseas department of French Guiana in South America and Haiti in the Caribbean. In fact, French is the third most spoken language in North America. All together, there are over sixteen million native French speakers on the continent. Most of these Francophones hail from Haiti and Canada, specifically, Québec and New Brunswick. France also has several North American overseas collectivities like Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint Martin. Furthermore, North America is home to a couple of the largest French-speaking cities in the world: Montréal, Canada and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. For resources on Quebec see the research guide Quebec: French Culture, First Nations and Folk Music. For more resources on Haiti and Haitian Creole, see Freedom in the Black Diaspora: A Resource Guide for Ayiti Reimagined. While English- and Spanish-language literature are more conspicuous, the Francophone literature produced in North America is just as powerful. Authors like Aimé Césaire, Maryse Condé, Louis-Philippe Dalembert, and Michel Tremblay are some of the most prolific authors in the Francophone world; each having had profound effects on their cultures. Maryse Condé recorded with the Library of Congress in 1999 for the AHLOT (Today, PALABRA Archive). Contemporary author Myriam Chancy is a Haitian-Canadian- American author and Guggenheim Fellow. She has written several books — her most recent two works are Harvesting Haiti : Reflections on Unnatural Disasters (2023), and Spirit of Haiti (2023). A recent publication, Elektrik features writers such as Marie-Célie Agnant, Gaël Octavia and Mireille Jean-Gilles who examine what it means to be Caribbean in the 21st century. Other prominent themes by the authors mentioned above are racial and ethnic identity, gender identity, sexuality, colonialism, immigrant experience, and family.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional digitized versions are included when available.