Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell

I paint to celebrate Creation and my participation in it.

I write to celebrate Life and my experience of it.

Marilène Phipps

New from Marilène

Unseen Worlds: Adventures at the Crossroads of Vodou Spirits and Latter-day Saints

The extraordinary life of Marilène Phipps began in Haiti — the magical island of African Vodou gods who followed their devotees on the slave ships, and the world’s first black republic — the singular cultural context and exotic milieu of the Caribbean, where hell and paradise can transfix us daily.

In this powerful memoir, we enter the lives of a family who are both descendants of European aristocrats and African slaves. We meet Phipps’s godfather, the rebel leader Guslé Villedrouin, and we relive her experiences with Vodou priests and spirits, a cold-eyed pope, a charismatic Muslim astrologer, Catholic monks and exorcists, American Mormon bishops, scholars and missionaries. Through it all, we are stirred by the antithetical feel of entitlement and destitution, barbarism and lyricism, infinity and insanity.

The 2010 earthquake in Haiti brings a collapse to Phipps’s world, but is also the start for her to find modern answers to the ancient questions, ”Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?”