From the best-selling author of Claire of the Sea Light and Brother, I'm Dying, a long-awaited return to fiction: a gorgeous collection of stories about community, family and love; about the forces that pull us together or drive us apart--a book rich with vividly imagined characters, hard-won wisdom, and humanity. In these eight stories by widely acclaimed, prizewinning author Danticat--some of which have appeared The New Yorker--a romance unexpectedly sparks between two wounded friends; a marriage ends for what seems like noble reasons, but leads to irreperable consequences; a young woman holds on to an impossible dream, even as she fights for her life, two lovers reunite after the biggest tragedy in their country and in their lives. Vividly set in places from Miami to Port-au-Prince to a small unnamed country in the Caribbean and beyond, these beautiful and moving stories showcase one of the world's most renowned voices at her absolute best.
Eight stories and I loved them all. Some were more intense than others, but many seem to hinge on a decision that they either make on the spot or have made in the past. The author has such an insight into families and of course into Haiti, its current political climate and its past. Her stories are always interesting and give one a glimpse into a cou try that many don't know about.
ARC from Edelweiss.
In the second story, a daughter returns to Haiti to a dying father she never knew.
This is followed by one about a girl who gets aids from a man who promised a life by buying her a cheap ring. Dying is certainly a theme in most of the stories. As the LA Times wrote, "As in Danticat’s oeuvre overall, death as a theme is never far from the center in Everything Inside. This is existentialist fiction: everyone is exiled in their own suffering, we can’t fully know another’s pain although we can touch it briefly, and our full essence — everything inside — is not manifest until the moment of death." Though this may seem like a topic one is not anxious to read about, the language and the style of the stories will make you glad you explored the collection.
And some marriages, in hindsight, just seem like detours, sometimes wonderful detours, you take to get where you need to go.
But I had never heard anyone announce to their twenty-five-year-old daughter, as my mother had the week before, that the father they’d never met, a certain Monsieur Maurice Dejean, was gravely ill and dying.
I am the girl—the woman—who is always going to be looking for stability, a safe harbor. I am never going to forget that I can easily lose everything I have, including my life, in one instant.
You are always saying hello to them while preparing them to say goodbye to you. You are always dreading the separations, while cheering them on, to get bigger, smarter, to crawl, babble, walk, speak, to have birthdays that you hope you’ll live to see, that you pray they’ll live to see. Jeanne will now know what it’s like to live that way, to have a part of yourself walking around unattached to you, and to love that part so much that you sometimes feel as though you were losing your mind.
She pointed to some coils of light winding their way throughout the city. They were people, hundreds of them, dressed in white and carrying candles as they walked toward the port and the sea. “It’s called a shedding,” she said. “As you walk to the sea, you shed from both your body and spirit all the awful things that have happened to you in the previous year.”
While some stories were more engaging than others, the writing is consistently fine. As always, Danticat is a master at depicting the Caribbean diaspora.