The Post-earthquake Essay
This chapter engages with the various essays and testimonials published by established Haitian authors in the period immediately following the earthquake. The chapter highlights the ethical and literary challenges facing Haitian authors, and considers the ways in which the Haitian earthquake made many major Haitian writers into public and international figures, newly engaged with and committed to the fate of the nation. Analyzing in particular essays and chronicles by Danticat, Laferrière, Saint-Éloi, Lahens, and Gary Victor, the chapter considers the points of divergence and convergence between them, focusing in particular on the authors’ differing ideas on the role of the intellectual, the worth of art in a time of disaster, and the difficulties of writing post-earthquake fiction.
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