As a child, acclaimed author Edwidge Danticat was terrified by Carnival festivities – until 2002, when she returned home to Haiti determined to understand the lure of this famed event. Here she chronicles her journey to the coastal town of Jacmel, where she met with the performers, artists, and organizers who re-create the myths and legends that bring the festival to life. In the process, Danticat traces the heroic and tragic history of the island, from French colonists and Haitian revolutionaries to American invaders and home-grown dictators. Part travelogue, part memoir, part historical analysis, this is the deeply personal story of a writer rediscovering her country, along with a part of herself—and a wonderful introduction to Haiti’s southern coast and to the beauty and passions of Carnival.
About the Author
Edwidge Danticat is the author of numerous books, including Claire of the Sea Light, a New York Times notable book; Brother, I'm Dying, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner and National Book Award finalist; Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner; and The Dew Breaker, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and winner of the inaugural Story Prize. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She lives in Miami.
“Danticat relates the history of a place—and an event—that she finds both heartbreaking and irresistible.” —The New Yorker
“[Danticat is] a marvelous writer, blending personal anecdotes, history and larger reflections.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Danticat writes with a compassionate insight but without a trace of sentimentality. Her prose is energetic, her vision is clear.” —The Miami Herald
“Sensual, magical but fiercely intelligent. . . . This gem of lyrical reportage takes [Danticat] from behind a ‘mask of distant observer’ into the heart of a ‘massive stream of joy,’ filling in the history and folklore behind the steamy surface.” —The Independent (London)