Krik? Krak!

Krik? Krak!

4.2 66
by Edwidge Danticat
     
 

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Nine powerful stories about life under Haiti's dictatorships: the terrorism of the Tonton Macoutes; the slaughtering of hope and the resiliency of love; about those who fled to America to give their children a better life and those who stayed behind in the villages; about the linkages of generations of women through the magical tradition of storytelling.  See more details below

Overview

Nine powerful stories about life under Haiti's dictatorships: the terrorism of the Tonton Macoutes; the slaughtering of hope and the resiliency of love; about those who fled to America to give their children a better life and those who stayed behind in the villages; about the linkages of generations of women through the magical tradition of storytelling.

Editorial Reviews

Tina McElroy Ansa
What beautifully powerful language. What a brilliant storyteller. Edwidge Danticat is a writer of subtlety and grace. She writes with such honesty, beauty and truth. Her stories can be breathtaking, disturbing, moving, her language lyrical. A stunning collection.
Black College Today
Walter Mosley
Edwidge Danticat's strong and unique voice speaks in the language of hearts. She knows the dreams and hidden thoughts of her characters, and her readers. She takes us traveling down a river of blood. That river sings in our veins.
Black College Today
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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. (Apr.)
Library Journal
This collection of previously published but interrelated short stories presents the harsh reality of daily Haitian life under a state-approved terrorist regime. Despite the harshness, Danticat beautifully balances the poverty, despair, and brutality her characters endure with magic and myth. For many characters, she also explores the inevitable clash between traditions of Haitian home life and a new American culture. Principally mothers and daughters confront each other in these cultural and intergenerational wars, wars that would be emotionally devastating were it not for the indomitable presence of love. This theme is treated best in the work's longest piece "Caroline's Wedding." krik? krak! is Danticat's second publishing venture and second triumph folowing her well-received first novel Breath, Eyes, Memory (LJ 3/15/94). Highly recommended.-Faye A. Chadwell, Univ. of Oregon, Eugene
School Library Journal
YA-Danticat, born under Haitian dictatorship, moved to the U.S. 12 years ago. Many of the stories in this moving collection reflect the misery she has observed from afar and leave readers with a deep sadness for her native country. Survivors at sea in a too-small, leaky boat endure any indignity for the chance at escape. Selections about those remaining in Haiti have a dreamlike quality. A woman must watch her mother rot in prison for political crimes. A young father longs so much to fly that he gives his life for a few moments in the air. A prostitute plies her trade while her son sleeps. ``New York Day Women'' shows what life might be like in the U.S. for immigrants without resources. Through unencumbered prose, the author explores the effects of politics on people and especially the consequences of oppression on women, the themes of which figure into each of these vignettes.-Ginny Ryder, Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Sacred Fire
When Haitian storytellers get ready to tell a story, they say "Krik?" Their eager listeners respond, "Krak!" With Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat established herself as a superior storyteller within and without Haiti's narrative tradition. Krik? Krak! reveals the wonder, terror, and pain of Danticat's native Haiti and the enduring strength of Haitian women. Danticat writes about the terrorism of the Tonton Macoutes; the death of hope and the resiliency of love; the Haitians who fled to America to give their children a better life, as her parents did; and the bridge to the past through the tradition of story-telling.

The first seven stories are about chaotic life under political oppression and poverty in Haiti, and the imaginative strategies devised by Haitians to maintain their ideals and hopes in the face of unfathomable hardship. The powerful first story, "Children 0f the Sea," sets the tone for the Haitian stories. It is a moving series of diary entries from alternating narrators: a young man fleeing Haiti on a dilapidated boat and his girlfriend back on the island. who is living in fear of her life and of his. The last two stories, based in New York City, demonstrate how even after leaving their homeland, Danticat's Haitian characters cling to their heritage while trying to adapt to a new land and a new set of opportunities.

The stories are about people who embrace mythic powers and rites of passage and people who long for peace and happiness for themselves and their country. Danticat captured reader and reviewers with her passion and lyrical writing in what she refers to as her distant third language. A finalist for the National Book Award and Danticat's second book, Krik? Krak! is full of vibrant imagery and grace that bear witness to the Haitian people's suffering and courage.

From the Publisher
Praise for Krik? Krak!

"Steeped in the myths and lore that sustained generations of Haitians, Krik? Krak! demonstrates the healing power of storytelling."
—San Francisco Chronicle

"Virtually flawless . . . If the news from Haiti is too painful to read, read this book instead and understand the place more deeply than you ever thought possible."
—Washington Post Book World

"The voices of Krik? Krak! . . . encapsulate whole lifetimes of experience. Harsh, passionate, lyrical."
—The Seattle Times

"Steady-handed yet devastating . . . In Haiti, where politics are lethal and women are condemned to suffering and death by men who envy and fear their powers, hope does indeed seem ludicrous, but in Danticat's fiction, mind and spirit soar above the pain and horrors of life."
—Booklist

"Danticat beautifully balances the poverty, despair, and brutality her characters endure with magic and myth. For many characters, she also explores the inevitable clash between traditions of Haitian home life and a new American culture. Principally mothers and daughters confront each other in these cultural and intergenerational wars, wars that would be emotionally devastating were it not for the indomitable presence of love . . . Highly recommended."
—Library Journal

"Spare, luminous stories that read like poems . . . [These] tales more than confirm the promise of her magical first novel. A silenced Haiti has once again found its literary voice."
—Paule Marshall, author of Daughters

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679766575
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1996
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
180,524
Product dimensions:
5.18(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.61(d)
Lexile:
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Edwidge Danticat is the author of numerous books, including Brother, I’m Dying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a National Book Award finalist; Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; The Dew Breaker, winner of the inaugural Story Prize; and The Farming of Bones, which won an American Book Award for fiction in 1999. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she has been published in The New YorkerThe New York Times, and elsewhere.

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Krik? Krak! 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alright, i'll admit it I wasn't one of the students who had read this book when I was supposed to. I did get around to reading this book completely and I must say that it is a magnificent book! I really enjoyed that there were different stories speaking of one specific theme, also how they all seemed to be connected some how. It showed me how much more worth it is to acomplish something after alot of hard work. The Haitians went through many struggles but they only grew stronger from it. I think along with all of the problems the Haitians themselves were going through there were some issues that people are going through every day, whether it be having to do anything to take care of a child (Night Women) or Having to break from tradition to please a loved one (Caroline's Wedding). I highly recommend this book to anyone, remember that there is always someone who is going through what you're going through take a look and see what's going on. You are not alone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Krik Krak was an very specail book, with a specail way of explaining the story about this girl. One book filled with other smaller stoires from other people point of view. I really liked reading this book, the content it contained was very well written. Hope to see more books like it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was extremely good. It is about women strength and courage. This book captured every part of me. Danicat takes experiences and struggles in her life and incoperates it into her 9 short stories. All stories are related to each other. They have one common message....Strength and courage overcomes the toughest situation. I truly recomend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story Krik?Krak!was really great.The story has shown a real clear and descriptive picture of the Haitians strife.It has also shown that survival isn't just one person but it takes whole generations to move on.Even if you are alone physically you will never be mentally.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book because it taught me a lot about the times back then in haiti.I liked the way that all the stories Connected with each other one way or the other and how they compared it with Braiding your hair. I think that whoever is going to read this book should really take time to understand it because this will really explain to the readers about haiti's dictatorship and all the struggle they went through to save their lives and also there families live
Guest More than 1 year ago
Krik Krak is a book that speaks to us about the haitian culture and what theyve went through in the past. i would definitely recommend this book, it is a great book. iat first i thought that it would be boring and about a noninteresting topic, but it turns out that i came to like the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book had some really tragic stories in it which made it really interesting to read. Some of the stories were boring and hard in understanding the importance of it being in the book. What made the book confusing was that there were too many different types of stories in it but overall it was okay.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My personal concern towards the book, Krik Krak, is a very descriptive writing piece of art. The book deals with a lot of women independence. women independence is just one of the many themes that is in this book. It shows real life events that had occurred to people who were in the had occurred to people who were in the situation that was in the book, Krik Krak. what is very exciting to me is how people learned from these events, and how they have grown from the events that occurred in the novel, Krik Krak.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Krik krak is a nice book i like the fact that it shows the lifestyle people go through in diffrent parts of the world.You also learn about mother hood i like the fact that all the storeis connect in some kind of way. Also the storeis connect with everyday life and some of the storeis you can actully visulaize or get a picturie in your mind of whats happening becuase it connects with everyday life.Take the first story for example you actually get a picturie in your mind with the boat and the couple, and even the stories that included the women like the one that has to do with newyork.Basically i recommed thsi book becuase your are able to learn alot and i love the fact it is written it diffrent stories that connect in some way with one theme about motherhood, which is something we deal with in every day life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Edwidge Danticat's Krik? Krak! brings to us tales about Haitian women from the 1900's. The book consists of nine short stories relating to women of Haiti from generation to generation. This characteristic of the book makes it easy to lose the connection between characters and events from one story to other stories. However, I enjoyed reading Krik? Krak! It gave me a glimpse of Haitian culture and introduced me to an unusual way of writing. If the book had not been assigned to me, I doubt that I would have picked it out to read by myself. Reading Krick? Krak! has encouraged me to look in to other books written by Edwidge Danticat.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Edwidge Danticat's Krik? Krak! brings to us tales about hatian women from the 1900's. The book consists of nine short stories relating to women of Haiti from generation to generation. This characteristic of the book makes it easy to lose the connection between charaters and events from one story to other stories. However, i enjoyed reading Krik? Krak!. It gave me a glimpse of hatian culture and introduced me to an unusual way of writing. If the book had not been assigned to me, i doubt that i would have picked it out to read by myself. Reading Krick? Krak! has encouraged me to look in to other books written by Edwidge Danticat.
Guest More than 1 year ago
krik krak is a very good book. its interesting to learn what people of different cultures have went through in the past. i would strongly recommend this book for readers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The novel was touching and heartfelt, it was about haitians and their cultures and how they have changed . This novel is about what haitians women went through they live and how they grow up in what type of society also it about they children and how they children have grow up different from them and about how they culture changed when they came to the united states.this novel was very touching and heartfelt when you read it because of how the haitian life were
Guest More than 1 year ago
well the book is nice and has some things i like, like the scenes of the boat. i really like those scenes because it mad me want read more to see what was going to happen. like the part when the pregnant lady had birth and her baby died already then she threw it into the water and then went after it WOW!! that made me hop out my bed. and i started laughin at the guys long name but the other stuff about the women and stuff i really didnt pay attetion to that ooooo you know what else was funny to me the BONE SOUP LOL but she wanted something to stay the same i asked my mom if she knows how to make bone soup LOL she made chicken wow thats funny. but read the book its interesting i recommend it to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book Krik?Krak!, by Edwidge Danticat, is very interesting. It discusses life in Haiti around the time when haiti and the dominican republic separated from each other. It talks about the abuse haitians went through and the death they witnessed. Soldiers were killing and abusing these people and yet, they kept hope alive. Or died trying to. It is very detailed and tells the painful truth of life in Haiti. It is almost like Danticat put every bit of her heart into writing this story. It tells the life of the poor, the strong,and much more. It even tells of motherhood. In the epilouge, it tells of how motherhood is connected. Like when you mother is braiding your hair and in braiding, ties a bunch of wild hair together. Unifying the hair. Well think of it like this, each story is a different strand and when put together,has alot in common. It is kept together. In each story in the book, a different story is told, and if you can catch it, you will notice familiar names from the previous story. They all have a link. They're all part of the same family, the women that is. See how it is mind boggling? This is a great book and not only is it outstanding, it is recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Krik Krak was a great book, but at the beginning, it was little bit confusing. I was able to understand it much better when I continued reading it, and it was an interesting book to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
krik?krak! is a very interesting book.This book is about the struggles of generations of Haitian women. It focuses on the different Haitian cultures. This book is made up of short stories which are all 'strands of braids from the same head' that are seperate from each other, but their all intertwine at some point.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book by Edwidge Donticat is very exciting but confusing in many points. She from the beginning of this book expresses the forcefull ruling of the government during those times in Haiti. She described the struggle that women endured with mostly dramatic deaths of family members. In the childohood of other kids riddles were used by parents in a form of playfull gaming with their kids. I recommend this book because it relates to the life of people these days. Example of this is Caroline's marriage whereby the mom refused their marriage. This books refers to the author's life and of the world as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It gave a really detailed view of Haitian life. It was very interesting to read all the different stories, and feel the mood of each story. In all the stories, the main characters consisted of women. Women who made the difference in the stories. Some women showed persistence and strength. This book is based on the lives of those Haitian women.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was boring at first, it was little bit confusing at the beginning, but as I continue to read it, I was able to understand it much better
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was was suprisingly really good. At first I thought it was going to be a really long and boring book but this book was really interesting. The story describes and goes into detail to show the struggle,motherhood,and love between women in Haiti from generation to generation. The book also gives you a vivid picture of the pain,suffering and harsh life the people of Haiti had to endure under the rule of Papa Doc Duvaliers. Reading this book has honestly made me greatful for the life I live and the privileges I have that these people in the story have never had.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first i thought the book was gonna be boring but once i picked it up i couldnt put it down. Danticat really explained the struggle of haitian women and people. All her stories had relations, it was confusing but still understandable. I enjoyed a lot personally i think it was a great book. Danticat even put in some personal events that happened in her life in the book. Like when she was struggling to make it in Haiti but then went to New York to pursue her career. She really touched the subject of the journies of numerous haitian women and how they finally got to make it to America to start a new life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Edwidge Danticat's Krik? Krak! talks about women in Haiti from generation to generation. In Haiti, when storytellers said 'Krik?' the response was 'Krak!' This book comprises of nine short stories which makes it very easy to lose the connection of the stories to the people(main characters) and the events,which should not be so. The book is kind of interesting because it gives me a glimpse of the rich cultural heritage of Haiti. If I wasn't given this book to read, it wouldn't occur to me to learn about Haiti's traditions, the women's lifestyle and values helping me to deeply understand and diversify culture. I am also made to know and feel the pain and torture during Papa Doc Duvaliers' regime which was very dehumanizing and heartbreaking.