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

After the Dance A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel Haiti In After the Dance one of Haiti s most renowned daughters returns to her homeland taking readers on a stunning exquisitely rendered journey beyond the hedonistic surface of Carnival and into its de

  • Title: After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti
  • Author: Edwidge Danticat
  • ISBN: 9780609609088
  • Page: 389
  • Format: Hardcover
  • After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti

    In After the Dance, one of Haiti s most renowned daughters returns to her homeland, taking readers on a stunning, exquisitely rendered journey beyond the hedonistic surface of Carnival and into its deep heart.Edwidge Danticat had long been scared off from Carnival by a loved one, who spun tales of people dislocating hips from gyrating with too much abandon, losing their voIn After the Dance, one of Haiti s most renowned daughters returns to her homeland, taking readers on a stunning, exquisitely rendered journey beyond the hedonistic surface of Carnival and into its deep heart.Edwidge Danticat had long been scared off from Carnival by a loved one, who spun tales of people dislocating hips from gyrating with too much abandon, losing their voices from singing too loudly, going deaf from the clamor of immense speakers, and being punched, stabbed, pummeled, or fondled by other lustful revelers Now an adult, she resolves to return and exorcise her Carnival demons She spends the week before Carnival in the area around Jacmel, exploring the rolling hills and lush forests and meeting the people who live and die in them During her journeys she traces the heroic and tragic history of the island, from French colonists and Haitian revolutionaries to American invaders and home grown dictators Danticat also introduces us to many of the performers, artists, and organizers who re create the myths and legends that bring the Carnival festivities to life When Carnival arrives, we watch as she goes from observer to participant and finally loses herself in the overwhelming embrace of the crowd.Part travelogue, part memoir, this is a lyrical narrative of a writer rediscovering her country along with a part of herself It s also a wonderful introduction to Haiti s southern coast and to the true beauty of Carnival.

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      Published :2018-08-01T08:40:58+00:00

    One thought on “After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti

    1. David Dacosta

      2010’s stellar historical memoir, Create Dangerously, reinvigorated my interest in Haitian born author Edwidge Danticat. Her debut novel Breath, Eyes, Memory set the pace for what seemed to be a promising career, and then Danticat’s trajectory suddenly took a sharp dip thanks to a few uninspiring releases. Somehow After the Dance slipped through the cracks for me. It only recently appeared on my radar, despite its 2002 release. This non-fiction work has been categorized as a travelogue, as i [...]

    2. Doreen

      I read this book in one day. True to form, Danticat presents the wonder of Carnival in a most delightful and mesmerizing way. Through her words, I see Haiti. I see its grandeur as well as its flaws. I experience the island as both a child and as an adult. I just love that she writes so beautifully, like a painter standing before a blank canvas; the reader.

    3. Laurie

      Carnival is one of the defining events of the Haitian year, and nowhere is it celebrated with more verve than in the seaside town of Jacmel. The Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat never had the opportunity to attend carnival. Thus, as an adult, she returns to Haiti, to Jacmel, to experience what she missed in childhoood. This book is an account of Danticat's trip back. This is a travel essay, but at the same time, it's so much more. After the dance is a travel narrative, a memoir, and a [...]

    4. Amanda

      This book spoke to so many parts of my brain and I loved it very much.Linguist- Of course I want to know 4 uses of the word lamayot. There should be an accent mark over that o. Spirit- There were many references to artists and literary voices. Painters who fill in the gaps of history to create what's missing. The spirit of the peasants. The quote about F. Scott Fitzgerald saying there is a peasant in every novelist.Political History- I got the sense that Carnival is so right and healing for tell [...]

    5. Liralen

      Edwidge Danticat takes us back to Haiti, to Jacmel, for Carnival. But it's a new experience not just for the reader (well, this reader, anyway) but also for Danticat -- as a child in Haiti, she was kept away; Carnival has ever loomed in her imagination as tantalising, dangerous, forbidden. Now, as an adult, she's back to celebrate Carnival herself.First, though, Danticat takes us through Jacmel. It's an eccentric tour of sorts; she relays a fair amount of history but consistently returns to the [...]

    6. Myriam

      Another travelogue for a series by authors on lands they visit; this is the only one I know of written by an author visiting her own country; for this, it is an interesting read. However, its focus on carnival in Jacmel begs the question "why not Carnival in the capital, Port-au-Prince?" This a question the text refuses to answer. If readers are compelled to find out the answer beyond the text, than the exercise (both reading this book and seeking the answer to the question beyond the text) will [...]

    7. Bing

      I learned a lot about carnival and Haitian history by reading this. I'd anticipated something a little more fiery and sweaty, as this is how carnival represents. Danticat expresses more interest in graveyards and the history of the carnival masks than in the experience of flinging herself into carnival at the height of the festivities. As she says, she still has the fears of her childhood about the dangers of the carnival crowd.

    8. Andrea Blythe

      Edwidge Danticat takes us to the streets of Jacmel and through the wild, brightly colored, irreverent ceremony of carnival. Mixed folk lore, history, and historical analysis with personal memoir, Danticat's journey through Jacmel, before and after carnival, is delightful, and makes me long for a trip to Haiti.

    9. Lucy

      Someone else may like this book, but it was not for me. I did not finish the book because I thought it was boring. I read another book by the same author and I really enjoyed it so i thought that I would like this book also, but I couldn't really relate to the book or what the author talks about. It might be a good book for people who have Haitian heritage and like carnivals.

    10. Topher

      After reading The Dew Breaker, I wanted to know more about Haiti's culture and political history. The is a calmly thoughtful account of a trip back to visit Carnival. Although the book culminates with Carnival (and what fun it must be), the pleasure was in the travels and reminisces leading up to the actual party. It worked as a cultural and political primer, and makes me want to read more.

    11. Kelly Lynn Thomas

      Although Danticat is Haitian, she didn't live there for a long time before she returned for Carnival. Her perspective is unique, because she's both a native and a foreigner. Plus, the writing is beautiful and makes you feel as if you're actually experiencing Carnival right along with her.

    12. Dimity

      I know the Edwidge Danticat is more known as a fiction writer, but I love her non-fiction so much. The prose in this book is like poetry and really takes you to Carnival. It is a very enjoyable short read.

    13. Mary Newcomb

      While this is Danticat's tale of attending Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti, it is so much more. A lovely, lyrical, interesting and deep tale begin to describe this book and yet it is so much more.

    14. Susan

      This is one of the Crown Journeys series which I recommend in general. They're all personal and quirky, written by somebody who really loves a place. Danticat's writing about Haiti makes you see it.

    15. Rhys

      An extremely interesting account of the town of Jacmel in Haiti during the famous annual carnival. Danticat tries to get under the skin of carnival, the customs that surround the event, the lives of the people involved. She puts this day of riotous joy into context, framing it with the political and cultural history of the country, an endeavor that also allows to find her own place in the unique society from which she originally came.

    16. Arielle

      2017 Reading Challenge - A book set around a holiday other than ChristmasDanticat takes us along on her journey to experience Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti. Danticat grew up in Haiti, but in a protestant family that warned against taking part in Carnival, with stories of danger and mystery.Danticat not only shares her experience with modern day Carnival in Jacmel, but investigates the origins of many of the traditions, landscape, and stories at the root of Carnival. She visits with artists, peasants [...]

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