The Indian Ocean has been a multicultural contact zone for more than 5000 years. The islands of the Mascarene archipelago have been an integral part of these exchanges since the seventeenth century. This book presents a new approach to the comparative study of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Charles Baudelaire, Amitav Ghosh, Dev Virahsawmy, Shenaz Patel, Yves Pitchen, Barlen Pyamootoo, and William Shakespeare. It also brings up crucial issues of public policy, language, and democracy in Mauritius and Reunion Island. 320 pp with illustrations. Françoise Lionnet is a UCLA professor of Comparative Literature, French and Francophone Studies, and Gender Studies, as well as the current director of the African Studies Center and Program Co-Director of UCLA’s Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities: Cultures in Transnational Perspective. She is a former president of the ACLA.