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    Wednesday, June 24, 2015

    Butterfly's Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States

    In four sections—Childhood, Migration, First Generation, and Return—the contributors to this anthology write powerfully, often hauntingly, of their lives in Haiti and the United States. Jean-Robert Cadet's description of his Haitian childhood as a restavec—a child slave—in Port-au-Prince contrasts with Dany Laferriere's account of a ten-year-old boy and his beloved grandmother in Petit-Gove. We read of Marie Helene Laforest's realization that while she was white in Haiti, in the United States she is black. Patricia Benoit tells us of a Haitian woman refugee in a detention center who has a simple need for a red dress—dignity. The reaction of a man who has married the woman he loves is the theme of Gary Pierre-Pierre's "The White Wife"; the feeling of alienation is explored in "Made Outside" by Francie Latour. The frustration of trying to help those who have remained in Haiti and of the do-gooders who do more for themselves than the Haitians is described in Babette Wainwright's "Do Something for Your Soul, Go to Haiti." The variations and permutations of the divided self of the Haitian emigrant are poignantly conveyed in this unique anthology.
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    Item Reviewed: Butterfly's Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States Rating: 5 Reviewed By: asar tehuti
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