Three years ago this month, a massive earthquake shook Haiti, devastating a country already battered by poverty and disease. In this issue writers describe both the immediate and long-range effects of the disaster on Haiti's people and its literature. In a raw tale written only days after the quake, Évelyne Trouillot documents the survival instinct. Kettly Mars paints a grim picture of life in the camps. Lyonel Trouillot searches for survivors. Yanick Lahens reflects on faults and time. In poetry, Guy-Gerald Ménard enters a season of mourning, while Louis-Philippe Dalembert finds a city on life support, and James Noël speaks to the dead. And Nadève Ménard describes the resilience of the Haitian literary community. As new catastrophes drive earlier disasters out of the headlines and off the radar, these writers remind us that Haiti's recovery is far from complete. In a special section on Bangla literature, Anwara Syed Haq's tinkerer has his hands full with a deathly project, Mashiul Alam follows an Indian citizen to his funeral pyre, and Ahmad Mostafa Kamal watches the banks of an all-consuming river.

New Bangla Literature


If fornication was stopped, what pleasure was left in life?

Book Reviews

Juan Gelman’s “Dark Times Filled with Light”

History, for Gelman, is something both deeply personal and inherently communal, just as poetry can be both politically charged and aesthetically refined

Andrey Platonov’s “Happy Moscow”

Love is grasped at but never secured. Each person is exhausted, weary, and alone.

Dany Laferrière’s “The World is Moving Around Me”

This is Laferrière’s own take on the cataclysmic effects of the quake, both political and psychological.

Alejandro Zambra’s “Ways of Going Home”

These instances abound: life imitating art, while art reflects back images of life.

Primal Needs

Was there still a second floor? Don’t think about it.

Time Stretches Out and My Words Do, Too

I keep saying that Haiti is neither a postcard nor a nightmare.

January 12, 2010

We already know there are no words for saying some things.

Port-au-Prince on an IV Drip

drip drop / port-au-prince’s life slips away