Jan 15

There’s been much confusion about how to help the aid efforts in Haiti after the January 12th 7.0 earthquake that has destroyed much of Port au Prince. A reliable guide to reputable, responsible charities who are helping in Haiti comes from Charitynavigator.org.  I’ve chosen to send my contribution to Partners In Health.

Mountains Beyond Mountains

Partners In Health was founded by Dr. Paul Farmer, who was profiled in the incredible book  Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder.  For the past 20 years, they have been working to bring medical care to the people of Haiti, and Dr. Farmer himself has made incredible personal sacrifices to carry out his life’s work.  If you want to learn more about Haiti and the work that Dr. Farmer has done, I cannot recommend Mountains Beyond Mountains more highly.  It’s an incredibly inspiring book, and when I first read it, made me want to go off and try to save the world. It has even more resonance now.

Reading about Haiti:

Edwidge Danticat is an award-winning author who grew up in Haiti. Her short stories, novels and memoirs will add to the understanding of Haiti’s history and the lives of the people who lived there — those who stayed and those who left to create a better life. You may have seen Edwidge on major news programs speaking about the situation in Haiti. If you are looking for something to read about Haiti in order to get a better understanding of the tough conditions even before the earthquake, I highly recommend any of her work.

KRIK! KRAK! Short stories. A National Book Award finalist, this collection of short stories details daily life in Haiti under dictatorship. “If the news from Haiti is too painful to read, read this book instead and understand the place more deeply than you ever thought possible.” — The Washington Post Book World (review from 1995)

BREATH, EYES, MEMORY: Fiction. A former Oprah’s Book Club choice, the story of a young girl’s coming of age in Haiti and New York City. “Vibrant, magic… wraps readers into the haunting life of a young haitian girl.” — The Boston Globe

THE DEWBREAKERFiction. Danticat’s third novel, it moves back and forth in time and place between Haiti and Florida following the life of an immigrant who was once a henchman for the brutal Duvalier regime. “Courageous…. Beautiful…. A brilliant book.” — The Washington Post

BROTHER, I’M DYINGMemoir. An extraordinary memoir about the Haitian immigrant experience: the exile, love, and loss. A National Book Critics Circle award winner.  “Heartwrenching, intimate…. Through the seemingly effortless grace of Danticat’s words, a family’s tragedy is transformed into the promise of collective hope.” — The San Francisco Chronicle

Krik! Krak! Breath, Eyes, MemoryThe Dew Breaker Brother, I'm Dying

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We encourage you to write down or print out the title information and shop at your local bookstore. Titles link to LibraryThing, a social networking site that allows you to catalog your home library. LibraryThing also links to various online purchasing options. Here are the books from this post:
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, Random House trade paperback
Krik! Krak! by Edwidge Danticat, Vintage trade paperback
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat, Vintage trade paperback
The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat, Vintage trade paperback
Brother, I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat, Vintage trade paperback
(all information is for the U.S. editions).
  • I wholeheartedly agree that Partners in Health is one of the very best resources you can choose if you want to support aid to Haiti. They are well-known, trusted, and “on the ground.” Two years ago we choose Tracy Kidder’s “Mountains Beyond Mountains” for Deerfield, IL’s first “One Book, One Zip Code” community-wide reading program. PIH was wonderful to us. In fact, their Director of Development, Ed Cardoza, even came to speak at one of our events. It would be hard to create a better method of delivering medical treatment in Haiti than what already exists thanks to Partners in Health. Great call BOTNS!

  • I wholeheartedly agree that Partners in Health is one of the very best resources you can choose if you want to support aid to Haiti. They are well-known, trusted, and “on the ground.” Two years ago we choose Tracy Kidder’s “Mountains Beyond Mountains” for Deerfield, IL’s first “One Book, One Zip Code” community-wide reading program. PIH was wonderful to us. In fact, their Director of Development, Ed Cardoza, even came to speak at one of our events. It would be hard to create a better method of delivering medical treatment in Haiti than what already exists thanks to Partners in Health. Great call BOTNS!

  • I’ve been looking all over for a list like this. Thanks for the recommendations!

  • I’ve been looking all over for a list like this. Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Thanks Ann for a great post. I’m going to go check this listing out. And thanks for the book recommendations. I don’t think I’ve read a book set in Haiti but I do have Breath, Eyes, Memory on my shelf.

  • Thanks Ann for a great post. I’m going to go check this listing out. And thanks for the book recommendations. I don’t think I’ve read a book set in Haiti but I do have Breath, Eyes, Memory on my shelf.

  • Thank you for providing this list. I’m off to the bookstore tomorrow to see what I can find….

  • Thank you for providing this list. I’m off to the bookstore tomorrow to see what I can find….

  • Ashley McGregor

    Thank you so much, Ann. I too chose to send my donation to Partners in Health. I am passionate about PIH and believe that they can make a difference, in the short and long term, in this terrible situation.

  • Ashley McGregor

    Thank you so much, Ann. I too chose to send my donation to Partners in Health. I am passionate about PIH and believe that they can make a difference, in the short and long term, in this terrible situation.

  • Thanks for the great list of books that deal with Haiti, or are set there. At this time, we realize how important it is to know more about the world. Thanks!

  • Thanks for the great list of books that deal with Haiti, or are set there. At this time, we realize how important it is to know more about the world. Thanks!

  • I’m glad so many of you are finding value in this post. Thank you for caring.

  • I’m glad so many of you are finding value in this post. Thank you for caring.

  • One of my book groups read Mountains Before Mountains last year, and it’s been on my mind ever since the earthquake. That poor country (I mean that both literally and figuratively) did NOT need another challenge to deal with.

    Sue

  • One of my book groups read Mountains Before Mountains last year, and it’s been on my mind ever since the earthquake. That poor country (I mean that both literally and figuratively) did NOT need another challenge to deal with.

    Sue

  • Rob

    Wonderful post!

  • Rob

    Wonderful post!

  • I choose to give to PIH, too, and have been recommending this Mts Beyond Mts to everyone. Thank you for this great list of books to read – I’m off to tbr a few, THANKS!

  • I choose to give to PIH, too, and have been recommending this Mts Beyond Mts to everyone. Thank you for this great list of books to read – I’m off to tbr a few, THANKS!

  • I too have been recommending Mountains Beyond Mountains this week. It’s horrible when this kind of thing happens but perhaps the silver lining is having so much attention focussed on a country in so desperate need. Thanks.

  • I too have been recommending Mountains Beyond Mountains this week. It’s horrible when this kind of thing happens but perhaps the silver lining is having so much attention focussed on a country in so desperate need. Thanks.

  • Hi Ann,

    Great post! Just wanted to let you know that I referenced it and linked to it in my Sunday Salon post today. I thought your post was very timely!

  • Hi Ann,

    Great post! Just wanted to let you know that I referenced it and linked to it in my Sunday Salon post today. I thought your post was very timely!

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