What Storm, What Thunder
In What Storm, What Thunder, Myriam J. A. Chancy has written a brilliant, multifaceted account of Haiti just before and after the apocalyptic earthquake of 2010, which killed at least 250,000 people and laid waste to the country.
A master at her craft, Chancy conveys her story by telling the individual stories of ten characters from all aspects of Haitian society: an old market woman, an expatriate businessman visiting for a funeral and to close a deal, a young prostitute who works a hotel frequented by the wealthy, a young mother and father who lose everything that matters to them, a musician living in the United States whose family remained in Haiti, an architect helping in Rwanda who returns home to help, a young drug dealer from a neighboring country, among others.
Chancy weaves these stories together deftly to give a clear-eyed account of the failures, atrocities, and yet, a glimmer of hope. Maybe most interestingly, although this is clearly a novel grounded in a time and place, there is a universality in its themes of nature’s and humankind’s inhumanity to humankind. Chancy has written a powerhouse of a novel that should not be missed.
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