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The day when Haitians as a people and Haiti as a symbol are no longer representatives of or synonymous with poverty, backwardness, and evil is still yet to come.
—Gina Athena Ulysse, “Why Haiti Needs New Narratives Now More than Ever”
Issue 111, “New Narratives of Haiti,” is a step toward answering Ulysse’s call. To this end, Guest Editors Laurent Dubois and Kaiama L. Glover have invited contributors to think about the world in ways that place Haiti at its center. Thought pieces by Madison Smartt Bell, Jonathan Katz, Gina Athena Ulysse and others, as well as translations of Frankétienne, Lyonel Trouillot, and Michel-Rolph Trouillot, dispel trenchant clichés that have long plagued representations of Haiti in literature and scholarship. The issue also includes Jamaica Kincaid’s poignant memories of a brother lost to AIDS, and a scholar’s chance discovery of cultural (and genealogical?) links between Cuba and Sierra Leone. Exceptional poetry, fiction, and review essays also take us beyond Haiti to San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, and Renaissance Europe. Grab a copy for your beach bag.
by Lyonel Trouillot, translated by Laurent Dubois
|... here, where life is afraid of silence. Here, if you wake up unprepared to go into battle, there is no life ahead. Bread is hunted like prey, and since there is not enough for everyone, noise has replaced hope. What you saw at the airport, twenty porters for a single suitcase, babbling in every language, that’s nothing. Wait until you see the city center.||. . . ici où la vie a peur du silence. Ici, si au réveil on ne s’est pas préparé à partir au combat, on n’a pas la vie devant soi. Le pain, ça se chasse comme le gibier, et vu qu’il n’y en a pas pour tout le monde, le bruit a remplacé l’espoir. Ce que tu as vu a l’aéroport, vingt porteurs pour une seule valise qui baragouinent dans toutes les langues, c’est rien. Attends de voir le centre ville.|
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