On January 12, 2010, novelist Dany Laferrière had just ordered dinner at a Port-au-Prince restaurant with a friend when the earthquake struck. He survived; some three hundred thousand others did not. The quake caused widespread destruction and left over one million homeless.
This moving and revelatory book is an eyewitness account of the quake and its aftermath. In a series of vignettes, Laferrière reveals the shock, rage, and grief experienced by those around him, the acts of heroism he witnessed, and his own sense of survivor guilt. At one point, his nephew, astonished at still being alive, asks his uncle not to write about "this," "this" being too horrible to give up so easily to those who were not there. But as a writer, Laferrière can't make such a promise. Still, the question is raised: to whom does this disaster belong? Who gets to talk and write about it? In this way, this book is not only the chronicle of a natural disaster; it is also a personal meditation about the responsibility and power of the written word in a manner that echoes certain post-Holocaust books.
Includes a foreword by Michaëlle Jean, UN special envoy to Haiti and the former Governor General of Canada.
Dany Laferrière was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1953. He is the author of fourteen novels, including Heading South and How to Make Love to a Negro without Getting Tired. His awards include the Prix Médicis and the Governor General's Literary Award. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.
|Publisher:||Arsenal Pulp Press, Limited|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Dany Laferrière was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1953. He is the author of fourteen novels, including I Am a Japanese Writer, Heading South and the award-winning How to Make Love to a Negro without Getting Tired. Laferrière's awards include the Prix Carbet and the Governor General's Literary Award.
David Homel was born and raised in Chicago in 1952. He has been a journalist, editor, literary translator, and teacher, and has won numerous awards for translation, including the Governor General’s Award for Literature, Canada’s highest literary honor.
What People are Saying About This
Keen observation, incisive analysis and passionate engagement mark this author’s account of the 2010 earthquake that devastated his native Haiti ... Through vignettes that range from a paragraph to a couple of pages, novelist Laferrière delivers a knockout punch through prose favoring matter-of-fact understatement over sentimental histrionics." Kirkus Reviews (STARRED REVIEW)
"Laferrière has a lucid plain-style which may remind American readers of the best of Ernest Hemingway, specifically Hemingway's commitment to writing about the actions that produce emotions, rather than about feelings themselves ... The glimpses Laferriere records of people on the devastated streets of Port-au-Prince accrue to give a deeper substance to the idea of Haitian indomitability." Slate.com
"Laferrière has written not only a valuable book but also a necessary one, a slim but potent volume reminding us that the people of Haiti deserve far better than the cards handed to them by fate ... In a just world, this book will excite renewed passion for helping Haiti and also a large audience for Laferrière himself, a talented writer who deserves a wide readership." National Post
"The World is Moving Around Me is unpretentious, starkly honest and good-humoured. Laferrière, a prize-winning novelist in the francophone literary world, is a masterful writer and his memoir, told in a clear and simple voice beautifully rendered by translator David Homel, is true to his vision of the essential role of culture, 'the only thing that can stand up to the earthquake intellectual culture [and] what structures a nation. If we don’t want to turn into a victim nation, we have to keep moving. We’ll cry later when things are better.' " The Globe and Mail