Krik? Krak!

by Edwidge Danticat

The youthful face on the cover and the title had misled me to expect a light, young adult read. This book is, however, a serious and excellent collection of short stories about life in Haiti and Haitians in America, and is in fact a finalist for the National Book Award.

In Haitian tradition, a story teller says “Krik!” to alert listeners that a story is about to be told. The audience responses with “Krak!”, to let the storyteller that they are giving her their attention in anticipation of a good tale. In this book, your anticipation will not be disappointed, for Danticat is a genius in capturing the spirit of her characters and creating beautiful imagery with little words. Powerful, memorable characters, often living an impoverished and at times tragic life, that stay with you after the story ends, dispite the little time you have come to know them. The woman who longs for a baby to hug, the woman who prositutes while her son sleeps, the immigrant mother who lives with her Americanized daughter, the man who goes on a raft, the girl who finally finds her name, the little boy who recites his speech in a play.

Often an anthology may have a few good stories, padded by mediocre ones, but this collection is excellent throughout. Higly recommended and likely to earn a spot on my best ten of the year list.

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Published in: on June 24, 2009 at 2:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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