This article is a presentation of the generic and narrative challenges in L’Odeur du café of Dany Laferrière. It proposes to show that this text’s generic status and paratext are obstacles to its reception as a novel. The linearity of the text is not continuous and there are many analepses and prolepses that break the chronological order of the narrated events. Indeed, this text represents reality through its multiple aspects; it rejects any precise affiliation and is characterized by hybrid genres and a mosaic structure consisting of disparate, juxtaposed fragments. This structure is an interpretation of the author’s vision of the world and it has a strong relationship with the social group and multiple identities of the narrator.