Synopses & Reviews
"The earthquake has unleashed a desperation I recognize from my long education in Haiti as the desperation of extreme poverty. A few blocks away, I heard an elderly Haitian arguing with an officer of the 82nd over a piece of rope or bungee cord the man needed to tie up a bundle of stuff. The man had no teeth and gray sprouts of hair and he held the cord in his hand and was trying to get back to his bundle. But the officer stopped him. The man spoke no English, the officer no Creole—but the officer knew that all scavenging had to stop now (as he said repeatedly), because the bulldozers were coming in and the Army did not want to bulldoze any scavengers. Finally though, the officer—rolling his eyes and shaking his head slightly, and looking up to the heavens in a combined gesture of impatience and resignation not uncommon among people new to Haiti—let the old man leave with his piece of rope."
—From the new introduction, "After the Earthquake"
Considered the best book ever written about Haiti, now updated with a New Introduction, "After the Earthquake," features first hand-reporting from Haiti weeks after the 2010 earthquake.
Through a series of personal journeys, each interwoven with scenes from Haiti's extraordinary past, Amy Wilentz brings to life this turbulent and fascinating country. Opening with her arrival just days before the fall of Haiti's President-for-Life, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, Wilentz captures a country electric with the expectation of change: markets that bustle by day explode with gunfire at night; outlaws control country roads; farmers struggle to survive in a barren land; and belief in voodoo and the spirits of the ancestors remains as strong as ever.
The Rainy Season demystifies Haiti--a country and a people in cruel and capricious times. From the rebel priest Father Aristide and the street boys under his protection to the military strongmen who pass through the revolving door of power into the gleaming white presidential palace--and the buzzing international press corps members who jet in for a coup and leave the minute it's over--Wilentz's Haiti haunts the imagination.
About the Author
Amy Wilentz is an award-winning former Jerusalem correspondent for The New Yorker and a long-time contributing editor at The Nation magazine. She has written for The New Yorker and The Nation, as well as for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Conde Nast Traveler. She is the author of a novel and a book about life in California. She is a professor in the Literary Journalism program at the University of California at Irvine.