Book Review: Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat


Edwidge Danticat’s short story collection Krik? Krak! (1991) is my Around the World for a Good Book selection for Haiti. Danticat’s stories loosely connected together by the themes of political violence and Haitain ideals, suffering and escape, and the strength of Haitian women.  Storytelling is also an important theme, the title referring to a phrase Haitians use to introduce a story.  With the harsh cruelties of Haitian life so intricately detailed, I cannot say this book is beautiful, but Danticat certainly has a lyrical writing style.

Flight plays an important part literally from the women imprisoned and starved because they’re believed to be witches who can fly, to the father who wishes to escape on a hot air balloon.  Figuratively, flight documents those who flee from the political oppression of Haiti.  The first story is an exchange of letters from a refugee on a leaky boat to one who stayed behind in Haiti suffering abuse and rape from the military police.  Neither of them meet a good end.

The later stories take place in New York among the Haitian immigrant community. In a superficial way they remind me of the stories of Amy Tan in that they show the strains of relationships between mothers and daughters, immigrants and American-born.  Haitian myth and folklore informs all the stories even within the most contemporary settings.

This is an excellent and moving collection of stories which I recommend highly.

About these ads

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Caroline on 7 April 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Hey i just wanted to thank you for writing this. i used it for a research report.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Tara on 22 August 2009 at 8:47 am

    i read this book and its was AMAZING:)
    i love it its one of my favorite books
    i hate reading but i would read this anyday:)

    Reply

  3. Posted by Dominico on 12 June 2012 at 8:39 am

    I’m afraid I have to disagree with the reviewer and the above comments. I disliked this book very much, and I should warn you, if you try and read this book looking for a good window into Haitian culture, you are gonna have a bad time.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,109 other followers

%d bloggers like this: