Synopses & Reviews
Set during the 2010 earthquake, this formidable debut pays homage to the resilient people of Haiti.
At the heart of God Loves Haiti are the connected but divergent fates of its President, his wife, and her lover. The first lady has locked her paramour in the closet of her room at the National Palace, in an attempt to abandon him and to escape from her eternally godforsaken hometown of Port-au-Prince. She meets her husband, the soon-to-be ex-President, at the airport. Standing on the tarmac, she realizes that while she does not love him, she's grateful to him. It is at this moment that buildings "tumble on people as if they were made of cards."
In thirty-five seconds, more than 200,000 people are killed and 1.3 million are left homeless. An earthquake has struck, ravaging a land that is plagued by poverty and poor infrastructure. Yet in this stunning novel the amazing characters are never simply victims.
The world has fallen down around them, laying bare remorse, pain, isolation, and unalloyed grief now devastatingly realized through her interrupted plans, and irrevocably altering all their lives. The first lady is having second thoughts about choosing a glamorous life in Europe over a passionate love in a tropical paradise. Is her lover even still alive?
Anchoring this heartwarming and constantly surprising love story is its affectionate depiction of Haiti, in all its complexity—its proud past as the first nation established by a successful slave revolt, its entangled politics with France and the United States, and its efforts to rise from the ruins to build anew.
God Loves Haiti is an enthralling first novel that is as astonishing as it is entertaining.
“So powerful as to be mesmerizing. I dont think Ive seen the Haitian earthquake of 2010 represented with such compassion and insight. One of those books that leave you wishing the author could produce a tome every month.” < b=""> Gary Shteyngart <>
“A fully mature novel in scope and perspective, as rich in ideas as in humanity. Funny, street-smart, and keenly observed, God Loves Haiti establishes Léger as one of contemporary fictions most distinctive and irresistible new voices.” < b=""> Edwidge Danticat <>
“The Port-au-Prince earthquake of 2010 may seem like an odd setting for a romantic comedy, but then Haiti really is an amazing place! Dimitry Elias Léger has brought it off, with a smile, a tear, and a peppery dash of satire as a lagniappe.” < b=""> Madison Smartt Bell <>
“A luminous debut . . . Léger writes beautifully and with an immense humanity. . . . He renders [Haiti] in all of its stupendous beautiful tortured complexity. A stand-out novel.” < b=""> Junot Diaz <>
“A work of fiction that combines breathless narrative movement with memorable writing and unabashed Big Ideas. [An] impressive debut novel.” < b=""> Andrea Lee <>
“The heat, the horror, the taste of ashes: Reading this vivid debut novel about the Port-au-Prince earthquake of 2010-and the risky love triangle that survives it-is jolting and exhilarating.” < i=""> More magazine <>
“With empathy and wit, Léger captures the intricacies of a country that is at once beautiful and tortured….There is no doubt that God Loves Haiti will leave readers wanting more from this talented author.” < i=""> M & V Magazine <>
[God Loves Haiti] shows undeniable strength and a powerful message about creating something new out of such devastation. < i=""> Publishers Weekly <>
“[Léger ]deftly sketches his countrys postcolonial struggles as well as its faith, resilience and promise….his Haiti-in-crisis, richly seen and unforgettable, is all too real.” < i=""> New York Times <> Book Review
“Légers use of imagery when describing the aftermath of the earthquake is remarkable and unparalleled; it offers a refreshing perspective. God Loves Haiti is a detailed and gripping account of the tragic events that occurred, infused with a story of romance, courage and change.” < i=""> AfroPunk <>
A native of Haiti, Dimitry Elias Léger makes his remarkable debut with this story of romance, politics, and religion that traces the fates of three lovers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the challenges they face readjusting to life after an earthquake devastates their city.
Reflecting the chaos of disaster and its aftermath, God Loves Haiti switches between time periods and locations, yet always moves closer to solving the driving mystery at its center: Will the artist Natasha Robert reunite with her one true love, the injured Alain Destiné, and live happily ever after? Warm and constantly surprising, told in the incandescent style of José Saramago and Roberto Bolaño, and reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquezs hauntingly beautiful Love in The Time of Cholera, God Loves Haiti is an homage to a lost time and city, and the people who embody it.
About the Author
Dimitry Elias Léger was born in 1971 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in both Port-au-Prince and New York City. Educated at St. John's University and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, he has worked as a journalist and a humanitarian. He has been a staff editor and writer at prominent news outlets like Fortune magazine, The Miami Herald, MTV, and The Source magazine, the seminal hip-hop music and culture monthly, and he has also been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Observer, and The Face magazine in the UK. In 2010, he served as a spokesperson for United Nations disaster relief programs in Haiti in the immediate aftermath of a devastating earthquake. He lives with his family in France.