Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti
A brilliant writer’s account of a long, painful, ecstatic—and unreciprocated—affair with a country that has long fascinated the world.
The Rainy Season, Amy Wilentz’s award-winning 1989 portrait of Haiti after the fall of Jean-Claude Duvalier, was praised in the New York Times Book Review as “a remarkable account of a journalist’s transformation by her subject.” In her relationship with the country since then, Wilentz has witnessed more than one magical transformation. Now, with Farewell, Fred Voodoo, she gives us a vivid portrayal of the extraordinary people living in this stark place.
Wilentz traces the country’s history from its slave plantations through its turbulent revolutionary history, its kick-up-the-dirt guerrilla movements, its totalitarian dynasty that ruled for decades, and its long and always troubled relationship with the United States. Yet through a history of hardship shines Haiti’s creative culture—its African traditions, its French inheritance, and its uncanny resilience, a strength that is often confused with resignation.
Haiti emerged from the dust of the 2010 earthquake like a powerful spirit, and this stunning book describes the country’s day-to-day struggle and its relationship to outsiders who come to help out. There are human-rights reporters gone awry, movie stars turned aid workers, priests and musicians running for president, doctors turned diplomats. A former U.S. president works as a house builder and voodoo priests try to control elections.
A foreign correspondent on a simple story becomes, over time and in the pages of this book, a lover of Haiti, pursuing the essence of this beautiful and confounding land into its darkest and brightest corners. Farewell, Fred Voodoo is a spiritual journey into the heart of the human soul, and Haiti has found in Amy Wilentz an author of astonishing wit, sympathy, and eloquence.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - bluepigeon - LibraryThing
I had started Farewell, Fred Voodoo before the trip, so it was the only book I took with me in physical book format. I finished it shortly after we landed, despite having watched a stupid Hollywood ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - slavenrm - LibraryThing
As always seems to be the case, I received this book courtesy of a GoodReads giveaway. Despite that kind consideration my candid thoughts reside comfortably below. The first thing to make absolutely ... Read full review
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