Patrick Chamoiseau was born in Fort-de-France, Martinique. After studying law at universities in Martinique and Paris, he became a social worker. Although he is principally known for his novels, Chamoiseau has ranged broadly into other genres. He has written autobiographical narratives, assembled a collection of folktales, and been at the forefront of the theoretical debates surrounding créolité, or creoleness. He has also written for the theater, contributed to discussions on contemporary Martinican and Caribbean politics, and collaborated on several photographic essays. A significant number of his fiction and nonfiction works have been translated into other languages.