Title: Ayiti || Author: Roxane Gay || Audiobook Narrator: Roxane Gay || Genre: Short Stories, Fiction, Productivity || Publisher: Grove Press || Year of publication: 2018 || No. of pages: 120 || Available at Amazon.com, Bookdepository and Bol.com
My parents were born in Haiti, the first free black nation in the world. It is an island of contradictions.
…And quite frankly so is Roxane Gay’s debut short story collection. Ayiti is a unique blend of fiction, non fiction and poetry all interwoven to represent the Haitian diaspora experience.
While I could think of many, there is only one valid reason to pick up Ayiti and to put it in the authors own words …’it’s pretty good’.
I am enthralled by the way Roxane Gay can convey harsh truths and raw emotions to end on a high note and reveal tenderness, intimacy and/or pride. Even the most heart-wrenching events read like poetry. This is surprising because she does not embellish her sentences with flowery language. She also doesn’t shy away from Haiti’s problematic side nor from graphic erotic depictions but while divulging the gloomy side she also manages to reveal Haiti’s beauty.
Verdict = ☆☆☆☆☆
Usually debuts lack something that the author goes on to develop and refine later in his or her career. This is not that debut, it’s exactly what it needs to be.
☆ = bad | ☆☆ = okay-ish | ☆☆☆ = fun | ☆☆☆☆ = amazing | ☆☆☆☆☆ = exceptional