Haiti in books and readings
Haiti has been in the news due to the recent catastrophic earthquake that nation suffered. I have posted a couple of items of interest with additional information about the country and ways in which readers can help the relief efforts. But did you know that Haiti also has a rich literary tradition? In my readings around the web, I have come across some reminders of the great literary treasures by and about the nation of Haiti. Books we have here at the Muntz Library:
- Youme, Sélavi: a Haitian History of Hope. This children's book is the true story of Port-au-Prince's children. Sélavi is one of many homeless children in the capital city trying to make ends meet by searching for scraps, doing an odd job here and there, and avoiding the military police. Haitian novelist Edwidge Danticat also contributes an essay at the end of the book. You can find this one in the CML Room. The call number is EASY FIC Y675se.
- Madison Smartt Bell, All Soul's Rising. This is the first book of a trilogy of novels that the American novelist has written about the Haitian Revolution. The novel won the Anisfield-Wolf Award for the best book of the year dealing with matters of race in 1996. The novel was also a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award. You can find it in the General Collection (3rd Floor Stacks) under call number PS 3552 .E517 A45 1995.
- Graham Greene, The Comedians. The British author's novel is about a world-weary hotelier in the darkest period of the Duvalier dictatorship, chronicling the nation's descent under Duvalier. You can find this novel in the General Collection (3rd Floor Stacks) under the call number PR 6013 .R44 C65.
- From the website Good.is, we have "Haiti: a Reading List." This is a small list of suggested readings with annotations.
- From The Daily Beast, you can "Speed Read: The Best Books on Haiti." In addition to books, the list includes a documentary and some essays.
- From The New York Review of Books, here is a larger list of books with an essay compiled and written by Madison Smartt Bell: "A Hidden Haitian World." The essay provides a very good overview of Haitian literary history.
- More recently, Madison Smartt Bell also wrote an article for The New York Times entitled "Haiti in Ink and Tears: A Literary Sampler."
- Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat provides her recommendations in "Earthquake in Haiti: a Reading (and Listening) List" for The Wall Street Journal.