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January 2013

Writing from Haiti

Image: Stivenson Magloire, Untitled (detail), acrylic on canvas. 24 X 20 inches, circa 1993. From the collection of Dr. Jacques Bartoli. Photograph courtesy of Ridge Art.

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.

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