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Ayiti by Roxane Gay
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Ayiti (2011)

by Roxane Gay

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200892,957 (3.97)3
Clever and haunting by turns, Ayiti explores the Haitian diaspora experience. A married couple seeking boat passage to America prepares to leave their homeland. A mother takes a foreign soldier into her home as a boarder, and into her bed. And a woman conceives a daughter on the bank of a river while fleeing a horrific massacre, a daughter who later moves to America for a new life but is perpetually haunted by the mysterious scent of blood. Wise, fanciful, and daring, Ayiti is the book that put Roxane Gay on the map and now, with two previously uncollected stories, confirms her singular vision.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
A book of short stories in which the author- an American of Haitian descent- considers many different aspects of those who left the country...and those who remain.The new life in the States, the stereotypes of voodoo and poverty that many attribute to them, recollections of violence. Some are just a page or two long, which for me rendered them kind of forgettable, despite their literary merit.
The strongest was surely "In the Manner of Water and Light" with its moving account of the genocide at Massacre River (covered by Edwidge Danticat in 'The Farrming of Bones.) ( )
  starbox | Oct 14, 2019 |
This is a collection of short stories about Haitian women, in Haiti and in the US. It's read by the author, who has a wonderful voice--in both senses.

The background and experience behind these stories is unfamiliar to me and therefore sometimes confusing. Yet the more I listened, the more grounded I felt and more open to enjoying the next story. These are stories of life in a country and setting very different from my own, and stories of an immigrant experience both like and unlike my grandparents' immigrant experience in the first part of the 20th century. They're stories very well-told, and they drew me in.

I had no real idea what I would be getting when I picked it from Audible's "two free Audible Originals" offerings for May, but I'm glad I did.

General advice: Don't be afraid to try something from a different background. You might get a nice surprise, and you might expand the world of fiction that doesn't seem too foreign to your experience to be likely sources of enjoyment. This isn't the first time I've gotten one of those nice surprises.

Recommended. ( )
  LisCarey | Jun 11, 2019 |
15 - 2 + 2 = 15
Review of the Audible Audio edition of the 2018 reissue of the Ayiti (2011) original

This was a great variety of short-short stories and some extended tales which all dealt with aspects of the Haitian diaspora (Ayiti being Haitian Creole for Haiti). Some have humorous turns, others are tales of trauma, tales of love and desire and the importance and love of family.

I listened to the Audiobook edition which does require some careful attention as the short short stories sometimes go by in only a few minutes. Another disadvantage to the audio version is not having any references to explain the differences from the 2011 original small press edition.

As best as I could find, of the original 15 stories (listed at a library site here (this may not be a permanent link source). 2 of them were deleted in this 2018 version and 2 new stories were added making for 15 as the new total again.

So the table of contents is now:
1. Motherfuckers
2. About my father's accent
3. Voodoo child
4. There is no "E" in zombi, which means there can be no you or we
5. NEW Sweet on the Tongue
x DELETED Things I know about fairy tales
x DELETED You never know how the waters ran so cruel so deep
6. Cheap, fast, filling
7. In the manner of water or light
8. Lacrimosa
9. The harder they come
10. All things being relative
11. Gracias, Nicaragua y lo sentimos
12. The dirt we do not eat
13. What you need to know about a Haitian woman
14. NEW Of Ghosts and Shadows
15. A cool dry place.

The new stories Sweet on the Tongue and Of Ghosts and Shadows were among my favourites so these were definitely terrific additions. Roxane Gay's own narration was excellent. ( )
  alanteder | Jun 7, 2019 |
Wow!

Powerful. Haunting. Amazing. Haitian-American is not my experience, but I feel through the author's words--hearing them in her own voice figuratively and literally--I got a taste of what it is to live the Haitian-American experience. While I'll never truly know, this collection of short stories makes me wish I could. I wish we could all just immerse ourselves into other cultures so that we could learn from them and appreciate them and our own more.

I loved every minute of these stories and only wish there were more. ( )
  Virago77 | May 27, 2019 |
5
  IlsaK | Jan 27, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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For my mother and father.
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Gerard spends his days thinking about the many reasons he hates America that include but are not limited to the people, the weather, especially the cold, and having to drive everywhere and having to go to school every day.
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