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Marie Celie Agnant
The Book of Emma by
Publication Date: 2007-07-01
Confined to a psychiatric hospital following the murder of her young daughter, Emma Bratte refuses to speak any language but her mother tongue. Dr. MacLeod has brought in an interpreter, Flore, to help him evaluate Emma's fitness to stand trial. "Both crazy and too lucid," an articulate and knowledgeable Emma relates her long battle against despair, through striking images of her lonely but determined and creative struggle to win the love of a mother misled by a racist society and then through tales of the suffering and resistance of some of her female forebears. These narratives, which are both epic and dramatic, and their contrasting reception by the officious psychiatrist and the sensitive Flore, produce rich layers of experience and meaning in this concisely narrated work.
Myriam J.A. Chancy
Framing Silence by
Publication Date: 1997-02-01
Raped and colonized, coerced and silenced--this has been the position of Haitian women within their own society, as well as how they have been seen by foreign occupiers. Romanticized symbols of nationhood, they have served, however unwillingly, as a politicized site of contestation between opposing forces. In this first book-length study in English devoted exclusively to Haitian women's literature, Myriam Chancy finds that Haitian women have their own history, traditions, and stories to tell, tales that they are unwilling to suppress or subordinate to narratives of national autonomy. Issues of race, class, color, caste, nationality, and sexuality are all central to their fiction--as is an urgent sense of the historical place of women between the two U.S. occupations of the country. Their novels interrogate women's social and political stance in Haiti from an explicitly female point of view, forcefully responding to overt sexual and political violence within the nation's ambivalent political climate. Through daring and sensitive readings, simultaneously historical, fictional and autobiographical, Chancy explores this literature, seeking to uncover answers to the current crisis facing these women today, both within their country and in exile.The writers surveyed include Anne-christine d'Adesky, Ghislaine Rey Charlier, Marie Chauvet, Jan J. Dominique, Nadine Magloire, and Edwidge Danticat, whose work has recently achieved such high acclaim.
The Scorpion's Claw by
Publication Date: 2004-08-01
This challenging, multi-layered story is told from a womanist perspective through a network of narrative voices encompassing two generations of Haitians, tied together both by blood relations and bloodshed. In addition to the characters' personal struggles with the harsh realities of postcolonial Haiti, the violent history of the last six centuries of the country, from the brutal years of colonialism and slavery to the chaotic aftermath of the fall of the Baby Doc regime, is also explored. The rhythm of the prose echoes Haitian Creole as this dramatic novel unfolds.
Breath, Eyes, Memory by
Publication Date: 1994-04-01
At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti--to the women who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence, in a novel that bears witness to the traditions, suffering, and wisdom of an entire people.
A Sky the Color of Chaos by
Publication Date: 2015-11-02
"A Sky the Color of Chaos" chronicles M.J.'s perilous childhood during the turbulent rise and fall of Haiti's President-Priest - a time of nightly shootings, home invasions, robberies, and burning of former regime members in neighborhood streets. Haiti's rich culture and breathtaking beauty are contrasted not only with the terror in Port-au-Prince's streets, but also with the turmoil inside M.J.'s own home. Her father's hot-blooded nature and unpredictable moods amplify her fevered need to escape a home, and homeland, where random violence and bloodshed are commonplace.
Publication Date: 2018-06-12
Roxane Gay is an award-winning literary voice praised for her fearless and vivid prose, and her debut collection Ayiti exemplifies the raw talent that made her "one of the voices of our age" (National Post, Canada). Clever and haunting by turns, Ayiti explores the Haitian diaspora experience. A married couple seeking boat passage to America prepares to leave their homeland. A mother takes a foreign soldier into her home as a boarder, and into her bed. And a woman conceives a daughter on the bank of a river while fleeing a horrific massacre, a daughter who later moves to America for a new life but is perpetually haunted by the mysterious scent of blood. Wise, fanciful, and daring, Ayiti is the book that put Roxane Gay on the map and now, with two previously uncollected stories, confirms her singular vision.
Danielle Legros Georges
The Dear Remote Nearness of You by
Publication Date: 2016-04-01
This is the precise intelligence that knows it must step carefully across the light on the surface of the water... These poems form the contiguous dance of language choosing its own body at will, traveling across light and the dimensions of unarticulated history. This is the word rubbed onto the palimpsest of our being, the careful solo soprano in the space where music ends and poetry moves in to name what is eternal and what is only in the abbreviation of now. What a delightful book from Boston's Poet Laureate."—Afaa Michael Weaver
Letters from Congo by
Publication Date: 2017-07-21
LETTERS FROM CONGO, a powerful collection by Haitian-American poet Danielle Legros Georges, invites readers to journey every air mile traveled by a family trying to survive the perpetual uncertainty of life in exile. In these 13 intimate poems, written as letters, an address, a physical location where someone can be reached, swiftly morphs into a statement about the delicate nature of voicing one's political opinions under the Duvalier regime. In crafting these necessary poems, Georges compels the reader to abandon any notion of a romantic and glamorous life when living in exile and offers a glimpse into a family's daily struggle with separation that has no expiration date.
Auntie Luce's Talking Paintings by
Publication Date: 2018-10-02
A Haitian American girl finds connection to generations of family lore in this story of identity, heart and home. Every winter, a young girl flies to Haiti to visit her Auntie Luce, a painter. The moment she steps off the plane, she feels a wall of heat, and familiar sights soon follow -- the boys selling water ice by the pink cathedral, the tap tap buses in the busy streets, the fog and steep winding road to her aunt's home in the mountains. The girl has always loved Auntie Luce's paintings -- the houses tucked into the hillside, colorful fishing boats by the water, heroes who fought for and won the country's independence. Through Haiti's colors, the girl comes to understand this place her family calls home. And when the moment finally comes to have her own portrait painted for the first time, she begins to see herself in a new way, tracing her own history and identity through her aunt's brush.
The Enigma of the Return by
Publication Date: February 28, 2013
Financial Times Windsor Laferrière left Haiti in fear of his life. He has lived in Montreal for thirty-three years, and when his father dies in New York, himself an exile for half a century, Windsor travels there to attend the funeral, and then back to Haiti to inform his mother of the death. In Haiti, Windsor is faced with the grim truth of life in his homeland - the endemic poverty, the thwarted ambitions and broken dreams. But only here can he become a writer again . . . The Enigma of the Return lives where fiction, poetry and autobiography meet. These creative tensions sustain a narrative of astonishing beauty, clarity and insight.
Publication Date: 2017-10-03
Winner of the 2014 Prix Fémina & 2015 French Voices Award After she is found washed up on shore, Cétoute Olmène Thérèse, bloody and bruised, recalls the circumstances that led her there. Her voice weaves hauntingly in and out of the narrative, as her story intertwines with those of three generations of women in her family, beginning with Olmène, her grandmother. Olmène, barely sixteen, catches the eye of the cruel and powerful Tertulien Mésidor, despite the generations-long feud between their families which cast her ancestors into poverty. He promises her shoes, dresses, land, and children who will want for nothing...and five months after moving into her new home, she gives birth to a son. As the family struggles through political and economic turmoil, the narrative shifts between the voices of four women, their lives interwoven with magic and fraught equally with hope and despair, leading to Cétoute's ultimate, tragic fate. Yanick Lahens was born in Port-au-Prince in 1953 and is one of Haiti's most prominent authors. She published her first novel in 2000, was awarded the prestigious Prix Femina in 2014 forMoonbath, and is the 2016 winner of a French Voices Award.
Selavi, That Is Life by
Publication Date: 2005-09-01
The true story ofSelavi ("that is life"), a small boy who finds himself homeless on the streets of Haiti. He finds other street children who share their food and a place to sleep. Together they proclaim a message of hope through murals and radio programs. Now in paper, this beautifully illustrated story is supplemented with photographs of Haitian children working and playing together, plus an essay by Edwidge Danticat. Included in the 2005 ALA Notable Children's Book List and the Texas BluebonnetAward Master List. Youme Landowneis an artist and activist who has worked with communities in Kenya, Japan, Haiti, and Cuba to make art that honors personal and cultural wisdom. She makes her home in Brooklyn, New York, and rides her bike everywhere.
The Farming of Bones by
Publication Date: 1999-09-01
The Farming of Bones begins in 1937 in a village on the Dominican side of the river that separates the country from Haiti. Amabelle Desir, Haitian-born and a faithful maidservant to the Dominican family that took her in when she was orphaned, and her lover Sebastien, an itinerant sugarcane cutter, decide they will marry and return to Haiti at the end of the cane season. However, hostilities toward Haitian laborers find a vitriolic spokesman in the ultra-nationalist Generalissimo Trujillo who calls for an ethnic cleansing of his Spanish-speaking country. As rumors of Haitian persecution become fact, as anxiety turns to terror, Amabelle and Sebastien's dreams are leveled to the most basic human desire: to endure. Based on a little-known historical event, this extraordinarily moving novel memorializes the forgotten victims of nationalist madness and the deeply felt passion and grief of its survivors.
Haiti Glass by
Publication Date: 2014-04-08
In her debut collection of verse and prose, Moïse moves deftly between memories of growing up as a Haitian immigrant in the suburbs of Boston, to bearing witness to brutality and catastrophe, to intellectual, playful explorations of pop culture enigmas like Michael Jackson and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Be it the presence of a skinhead on the subway, a newspaper account of unthinkable atrocity, or the 'noose loosened to necklace' of desire, the cut of Haiti Glass lays bare a world of resistance and survival, mourning and lust, need and process, triumph and prayer. Lenelle Moïseis an award-winning poet, playwright, essayist and internationally touring performance artist. She creates jazz-infused, hip-hop bred, politicized texts about identity, memory and magic. Her poems and essays are featured in several anthologies, including:Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution andWe Don't Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists. Her writing has also been published in theUtne Reader, Make/Shift, Left Turn, and numerous other magazines and journals. A current Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow, her plays include Expatriate, MeritandThe Many Faces of Nia.She lives in Northampton, MA where she was the 2010-2012 Poet Laureate.Haiti Glass is her long-awaited first book and she is available for interview.
My Mother's House by
Publication Date: 2021-04-13
When Lucien flees Haiti with his wife, Marie-Ange, and their three children to New York City's South Ozone Park, he does so hoping for reinvention, wealth, and comfort. He buys a run-down house in a quickly changing community, and begins life anew. Lucien and Marie-Ange call their home La Kay--"my mother's house"--and it becomes a place where their fellow immigrants can find peace, a good meal, and necessary legal help. But as a severely emotionally damaged man emigrating from a country whose evils he knows to one whose evils he doesn't, Lucien soon falls into his worst habits and impulses, with La Kay as the backdrop for his lasciviousness. What he can't begin to fathom is that the house is watching, passing judgment, and deciding to put an end to all the sins it has been made to hold. But only after it has set itself aflame will frightened whispers reveal Lucien's ultimate evil. An uncompromising look at the immigrant experience and a chilling depiction of the depravity of one man, My Mother's House is an electrifying page-turner rooted in a magical reality.
Martiza and Maika Moulite
Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by
Publication Date: 2020-12-01
Alaine Beauparlant has heard about Haiti all her life... But the stories were always passed down from her dad--and her mom, when she wasn't too busy with her high-profile newscaster gig. But when Alaine's life goes a bit sideways, it's time to finally visit Haiti herself. What she learns about Haiti's proud history as the world's first black republic (with its even prouder people) is one thing, but what she learns about her own family is another. Suddenly, the secrets Alaine's mom has been keeping, including a family curse that has spanned generations, can no longer be avoided. It's a lot to handle, without even mentioning that Alaine is also working for her aunt's nonprofit, which sends underprivileged kids to school and boasts one annoyingly charming intern. But if anyone can do it all...it's Alaine.
Publication Date: 2018-07-30
Patrick Sylvain, in his debut English language collection, brings forth an excavation of historical significance. In this magnificent chapbook of poems, Sylvain takes the reader on a contemporary exploration of Caribbean & Haitian histories marred by man-made and natural disasters. From the undertow of the Atlantic Ocean to the rubbles of a catastrophic earthquake, each poem is a relic, bellowing "ancestral tongues" in an attempt to "un-scab the past." This is a book for every generation.
The Infamous Rosalie by
Publication Date: 2013-10-01
Lisette, a Saint-Domingue-born Creole slave and daughter of an African-born bossale, has inherited not only the condition of slavery but the traumatic memory of the Middle Passage as well. The stories told to her by her grandmother and godmother, including the horrific voyage aboard the infamous slave ship Rosalie, have become part of her own story, the one she tells in this haunting novel by the acclaimed Haitian writer Évelyne Trouillot. Inspired by the colonial tale of an African midwife who kept a cord of some seventy knots, each one marking a child she had killed at birth, the novel transports us back to Saint-Domingue, before it became Haiti. The year is 1750, and a rash of poisonings is sowing fear among the plantation masters, already unsettled by the unrest caused by Makandal, the legendary Maroon leader. Through this tumultuous time, Lisette struggles to maintain her dignity and to imagine a future for her unborn child. In telling Lisette’s story, Trouillot gives the revolution that will soon rock the island a human face and at long last sheds light on the invisible women and men of Haitian history. The original French edition of Rosalie l’infâme received the Prix Soroptimist de la romancière francophone, honoring a novel written by a woman from a French-speaking country which showcases the cultural and literary diversity of the French-speaking world.
Gina Athena Ulysse
Why Haiti Needs New Narratives by
Publication Date: 2015-05-25
Winner of the Haitian Studies Association Excellence in Scholarship Award (2015) Mainstream news coverage of the catastrophic earthquake of January 12, 2010, reproduced longstanding narratives of Haiti and stereotypes of Haitians. Cognizant that this Haiti, as it exists in the public sphere, is a rhetorically and graphically incarcerated one, the feminist anthropologist and performance artist Gina Athena Ulysse embarked on a writing spree that lasted over two years. As an ethnographer and a member of the diaspora, Ulysse delivers critical cultural analysis of geopolitics and daily life in a series of dispatches, op-eds and articles on post-quake Haiti. Her complex yet singular aim is to make sense of how the nation and its subjects continue to negotiate sovereignty and being in a world where, according to a Haitian saying, tout moun se moun, men tout moun pa menm (All people are human, but all humans are not the same). This collection contains thirty pieces, most of which were previously published in and on Haitian Times, Huffington Post, Ms Magazine, Ms Blog, NACLA, and other print and online venues. The book is trilingual (English, Kreyòl, and French) and includes a foreword by award-winning author and historian Robin D.G. Kelley.
Katia D. Ulysse
Mouths Don't Speak by
Publication Date: 2018-01-02
No one was prepared for the massive earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, taking over a quarter-million lives, and leaving millions of others homeless. Three thousand miles away, Jacqueline Florestant mourns the presumed death of her parents, while her husband, a former US Marine and combat veteran, cares for their three-year-old daughter as he fights his own battles with acute PTSD. Horrified and guilt-ridden, Jacqueline returns to Haiti in search of the proverbial "closure." Unfortunately, the Haiti she left as a child twenty-five years earlier has disappeared. Her quest turns into a tornado of deception, desperation, and more death. So Jacqueline holds tightly to her daughter--the only one who must not die.
American Street by
Publication Date: 2018-05-01
A National Book Award Finalist with five starred reviews and multiple awards! American Street is an evocative and powerful coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Everything, Everything; Bone Gap; and All American Boys. In this stunning debut novel, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodou culture. On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie--a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola's mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit's west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?