Saturday, 30 January 2010

After the Dance by Edwidge Danticat

I felt particularly poignant reading After the Dance: A Walk through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti after the recent atrocities in the country. But I already had it out from the library before the earthquake had struck and thought this may give me a better picture of a place that I know little of other than the images which filled our newspapers for days.

Edwidge Danticat lived in Haiti as a child with her religious uncle whilst her parents had emigrated to America in search of a better life for them and their child. Throughout her childhood she was warned of the dangers of carnival and never allowed to attend. As as adult she returns to her home town to experience the carnival which fills the street.
As well as looking at the carnival, which she seems to experience as an outsider with inside knowlegde, we also are give a wealth of other information. Danticat talks to various locals, threading their talk of the carnival and her sights with a brief histroy of the town. History, politics, legend and myth are layered between the glimpses of the preperation for and eventually the actuall day of the carnival.
A great little read at only 152 pages, yet one which gives a lot. I saw this on one of Eva's great challenge lists and grabbed a copy for myself.

Read for the Twenty Ten Challenge (Bad Bloggers category)

1 comment:

Eva said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I'll definitely be reading it, although I agree it will have a different feel to it post-earthquake. :/

Have you read A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid? It's a fascinating long essay/short book (I think it might be less than 100 pages) about Antigua that's just wonderful. I read it last month, and now that I'm blogging again, I should be reviewing it soon!