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katrina

After the Dance: A Walk through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti

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I felt particularly poignant reading After the Dance: A Walk through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti after the recent atrocities in the country. But I already had it out from the library before the earthquake had struck and thought this may give me a better picture of a place that I know little of other than the images which filled our newspapers for days.

 

Edwidge Danticat lived in Haiti as a child with her religious uncle whilst her parents had emigrated to America in search of a better life for them and their child. Throughout her childhood she was warned of the dangers of carnival and never allowed to attend. As as adult she returns to her home town to experience the carnival which fills the street.

As well as looking at the carnival, which she seems to experience as an outsider with inside knowlegde, we also are give a wealth of other information. Danticat talks to various locals, threading their talk of the carnival and her sights with a brief histroy of the town. History, politics, legend and myth are layered between the glimpses of the preperation for and eventually the actuall day of the carnival.

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