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Myriam J.A. Chancy (CA)

What Storm, What Thunder

What Storm, What Thunder

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American Book Award Winner

Finalist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize

Longlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature

NPRBoston Globe, New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, and Library Journal Best Book of the Year

At the end of a long, sweltering day, as markets and businesses begin to close for the evening, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. 

Award-winning author Myriam J. A. Chancy masterfully charts the inner lives of the characters affected by the disaster——Richard, an expat and wealthy water-bottling executive with a secret daughter; the daughter, Anne, an architect who drafts affordable housing structures for a global NGO; a small-time drug trafficker, Leopold, who pines for a beautiful call girl; Sonia and her business partner, Dieudonné, who are followed by a man they believe is the vodou spirit of death; Didier, an emigrant musician who drives a taxi in Boston; Sara, a mother haunted by the ghosts of her children in an IDP camp; her husband, Olivier, an accountant forced to abandon the wife he loves; their son, Jonas, who haunts them both; and Ma Lou, the old woman selling produce in the market who remembers them all. Artfully weaving together these lives, this gripping story gives witness to the desolation wreaked by nature and by man. 

Brilliantly crafted, fiercely imagined, and deeply haunting, What Storm, What Thunder is a singular, stunning record, a reckoning of the heartbreaking trauma of disaster, and——at the same time——an unforgettable testimony to the tenacity of the human spirit.

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Number of pages

Harper Perennial


MYRIAM J. A. CHANCY was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A Guggenheim Fellow, she currently holds the Hartley Burr Alexander Chair in the Humanities at Scripps College in California. She is the author of four books of literary criticism and four novels. Her first novel, Spirit of Haiti, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Best First Book, Canada/Caribbean) in 2004. The Loneliness of Angels won the Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Award (Best Fiction) and was shortlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature in 2011.

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