19 November 2008

Danticat's "Ghosts"

Edwidge Danticat has written a short story for the New Yorker that is rather like one of her books in miniature: her focus - the regime changes and subsequent chaos in Haiti - is related through the usual peripheral figures. Like much of her short work, it uses this technique to examine a single concept: in this case, uncertainty. Notice how the pigeons within the story come to represent security in one's place as their presented form varies. Check it out, and if you like it then grab The Farming of Bones (or the more accessible Krik? Krak! if you don't want to work too hard.)

Pascal’s parents had moved to Bel Air at a time when the neighborhood was inhabited mostly by peasants, living there temporarily so that their children could finish primary school. But as the trees in the provinces vanished into charcoal and the mountains gave way, washing the country’s topsoil into the sea, they, like the others, stayed and raised their two sons and at least a thousand pigeons, which, over the years, they sold both alive and dead.
If you're interested in Danticat herself, she wrote a short bio sketch for the same publication.

No comments:

Post a Comment