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After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti (Crown Journeys)by Edwidge Danticat
Synopses & Reviews
In After the Dance, one of Haitis most renowned daughters returns to her homeland, taking readers on a stunning, exquisitely rendered journey beyond the hedonistic surface of Carnival and into its deep heart.
Edwidge Danticat had long been scared off from Carnival by a loved one, who spun tales of people dislocating hips from gyrating with too much abandon, losing their voices from singing too loudly, going deaf from the clamor of immense speakers, and being punched, stabbed, pummeled, or fondled by other lustful revelers. Now an adult, she resolves to return and exorcise her Carnival demons. She spends the week before Carnival in the area around Jacmel, exploring the rolling hills and lush forests and meeting the people who live and die in them. During her journeys she traces the heroic and tragic history of the island, from French colonists and Haitian revolutionaries to American invaders and home-grown dictators. Danticat also introduces us to many of the performers, artists, and organizers who re-create the myths and legends that bring the Carnival festivities to life. When Carnival arrives, we watch as she goes from observer to participant and finally loses herself in the overwhelming embrace of the crowd.
Part travelogue, part memoir, this is a lyrical narrative of a writer rediscovering her country along with a part of herself. Its also a wonderful introduction to Haitis southern coast and to the true beauty of Carnival.
One of Haiti's most acclaimed native daughters returns to her homeland to celebrate her first Carnival, taking readers on a journey beyond the hedonistic surface and into the heart of the celebration. She also explores the area's hills and rainforests, confronting the island's tension between beauty and destruction and its often surreal history.
About the Author
EDWIDGE DANTICAT is the author of Breath, Eyes, Memory; Krik? Krak!; The Farming of Bones; and Behind the Mountains, a young adult novel. She is also the editor of The Butterflys Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States and The Beacon Best of 2000: Great Writing by Women and Men of All Colors and Cultures.
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