Krik? Krak!

Front Cover
Soho Press, 1995 - Fiction - 224 pages
8 Reviews
Arriving one year after the Haitian-American's first novel (Breath, Eyes, Memory) alerted critics to her compelling voice, these 10 stories, some of which have appeared in small literary journals, confirm Danticat's reputation as a remarkably gifted writer. Examining the lives of ordinary Haitians, particularly those struggling to survive under the brutal Duvalier regime, Danticat illuminates the distance between people's desires and the stifling reality of their lives. A profound mix of Catholicism and voodoo spirituality informs the tales, bestowing a mythic importance on people described in the opening story, "Children of the Sea," as those "in this world whose names don't matter to anyone but themselves." The ceaseless grip of dictatorship often leads men to emotionally abandon their families, like the husband in "A Wall of Fire Rising," who dreams of escaping in a neighbor's hot-air balloon. The women exhibit more resilience, largely because of their insistence on finding meaning and solidarity through storytelling; but Danticat portrays these bonds with an honesty that shows that sisterhood, too, has its power plays. In the book's final piece, "Epilogue: Women Like Us," she writes: "Are there women who both cook and write? Kitchen poets, they call them. They slip phrases into their stew and wrap meaning around their pork before frying it. They make narrative dumplings and stuff their daughter's mouths so they say nothing more." The stories inform and enrich one another, as the female characters reveal a common ancestry and ties to the fictional Ville Rose. In addition to the power of Danticat's themes, the book is enhanced by an element of suspense (we're never certain, for example, if a rickety boat packed with refugees introduced in the first tale will reach the Florida coast). Spare, elegant and moving, these stories cohere into a superb collection.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nancynova - LibraryThing

rabck from sweetsangria; short story collection, most set in Haiti, last few in New York with ties to Haiti. From living in Florida, with many Haitian refugees, this is reality for today's Haiti. Harsh and difficult life in Haiti is spotlighted in some of the stories. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Angelina-Justice - LibraryThing

This was a gripping journey through multiple generations of Haitian women and the people they love. The lyrical prose and stark reality of this work of fiction keep a firm grip on your heart as you ... Read full review

Contents

Nineteen ThirtySeven
A Wall of Fire Rising
Night Women contents
Between the Pool and the Gardenias
The Missing Peace
Seeing Things Simply
New York Day Women
Carolines Wedding
Women Like
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About the author (1995)

Edwidge Danticat was nominated for the National Book Award in 1995 for her story collection,Krik? Krak!Her first novel,Breath, Eyes, Memory, was published to acclaim when she was twenty-five.

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