[Blackstudies-l] “Mouths Don’t Speak" tells the story of a Haitian woman in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Sun Dec 31 02:20:46 EST 2017


lisaparavisini posted: " A report by Alexandra Simon for Caribbean Life
News. Two Haitian women writers are going to be celebrated for their
literary strides at Brooklyn’s Greenlight bookstore on Jan. 11. The shop,
in collaboration with Akashic Books and Haiti Cultural Exchang"
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New post on *Repeating Islands*
<http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/> Two Haitian women will
be honored for their literary work
<http://repeatingislands.com/2017/12/30/two-haitian-women-will-be-honored-for-their-literary-work/>
by
lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>

[image: Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 7.12.29 PM.png]

A report by Alexandra Simon for *Caribbean Life News*
<https://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/stories/2017/12/24-greenlight-celebrates-haitian-writers-2017-12-29-bk.html>
.

Two Haitian women writers are going to be celebrated for their literary
strides at Brooklyn’s Greenlight bookstore on Jan. 11. The shop, in
collaboration with Akashic Books and Haiti Cultural Exchange, are honoring
authors Katia D. Ulysses and Ibi Zoboi for their debut release and a
National Book Award nomination — respectively.

Ulysse will head a discussion with Zoboi, and read an excerpt from her book
“Mouths Don’t Speak,” where she highlights a story about a Haitian woman in
the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. She says not seeing enough stories
about people dealing with life in the aftermath of the tragedy pushed her
to write the book, along with some words of wisdom from one of her favorite
authors.

“I really wanted to write this story because I hadn’t seen any
post-earthquake stories,” said Ulysse. “And I took some advice from Toni
Morrison, who said if there’s a story out there that doesn’t exist, you
have to write it yourself.”

The story follows Jacqueline, who returns to Haiti to pick up the pieces
after the earthquake takes the lives of her parents. But the protagonist
also finds herself dealing with more struggles at home, said Ulysse.

In her book, she uses colorful language that paints Haiti in the way most
people do not often hear it described in, mostly which she used because she
also wanted to introduce a new story into play.

“I really wanted to write something for the expats not in love with the
idea of going back to Haiti,” she said. “And then there’s this narrative
that Haiti is the poorest in the hemisphere and we hear that over and over
again, so I wanted (to say) that it is incredibly rich and I speak to that
in my story.”

She says every Haitian, whether at home or abroad, was affected by the
devastating earthquake, and will find some aspects of the book that hit
close to home.

“Personally I like to think we were all affected, even those who did not
suffer a loss,” added Ulysse. “Some of us were not immediately affected but
we all know people who at least know someone who perished.”

Her book’s title is a Haitian proverb, and carries the same meaning to the
commonly known three wise monkeys proverb — see no evil, hear no evil,
speak no evil.

But in “Mouths Don’t Speak,” the plot primarily deals with family
relationships and the type of gossip that occurs within one. Ulysse says
the subjects the book tackles look at a wider familial issues that can
arise after a tragedy, and readers will find it a page-turner.

*Greenlight Bookstore [632 Flatbush Ave
<https://maps.google.com/?q=632+Flatbush+Ave&entry=gmail&source=g>. between
Chester and Westbury courts in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, (718) 246-0200
<(718)%20246-0200>, www.greenlightbookstore.com
<http://www.greenlightbookstore.com/>]. Jan. 11 at 7:30 pm. Free.*
*lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>* |
December 30, 2017 at 7:13 pm | Categories: News
<http://repeatingislands.com/category/news/> | URL: https://wp.me/psnTa-zb4

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