Myriam JA Chancy
Myriam J. A. Chancy, award-winning author of What Storm, What Thunder, is a Haitian-Canadian-American writer, the HBA Chair in the Humanities at Scripps College in Claremont, California, and a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Moving. . . . with beautifully fleshed out characters and a bone-deep understanding of the inexorable pull of the past. . . . A powerful novel about lifelong female friendships against a backdrop of political upheaval and family secrets.
Myriam J. A. Chancy follows up her illustrious novel, What Storm, What Thunder, with a story about two families caught between the histories that bind them. With Village Weavers, Chancy becomes a cartographer of the human experience as she navigates issues of race, colonialism, diaspora, and the ways we must redefine ourselves later in our lives. It is a testament to the capacity of the human heart, one that is capable of loving, of yearning and rage, and of living. Chancy pays homage to those estranged and passed as she brilliantly maps out a journey of reclamation. This is a defining work of impressive accomplishment. In the same way Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John or Toni Morrison’s Sula announced before it, Chancy teaches us that it is never too late to reconnect with those we care about, to remember the power of love.
—Xavier Navarro Aquino, author of Velorio
Myriam J.A. Chancy’s Village Weavers is a mesmerizing tale of two young girls, Gertie and Sisi, whose tender relationship is fractured by powerful forces around them—much like Hispaniola, the island they are from. As the young girls become women, we witness Chancy’s radiant ability to wrestle with history, class, colorism, and racism, while telling a story that is deeply rooted in love. What the novel ultimately reaches toward, both on a personal and political level, is profoundly moving.
—Cleyvis Natera, author of Neruda on the Park
A deeply reflective book about the resilience of the relationship between two women, which evolves from an innocent childhood friendship to a spiritual kinship that transcends the biology of blood relation. Village Weavers is a loving portrait of sisterhood, carefully and skillfully woven. A pleasure to read.
—Cherie Jones, author of How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House
Just beautiful! Village Weavers is love story for our times and for all time. In Sisi and Gertie we recognise the timeless tale of a family torn apart by the forces of history but in Chancy’s hands it feels new, fresh and uniquely their own. Spanning Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Paris, Florida, Arizona and back again, this is a true Diaspora story—frankly told and sharply contemporary—that speaks into the silences around race, class, colour and the myths of nationhood, while affirming that no matter how far we are drawn apart it is the sea, the sea that holds us together.
—Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, author of When We Were Birds
A heartbreaking tale of regret and resilience, and a fiery rebuke of racism, violence and greed.
A stunning commentary on racism, sexual violence, capitalism and the resilience required to rebuild a life.
—The Washington Post
A gorgeous, intimate voice. . . . A reminder of the extraordinary resilience, then as now, of the Haitian people.
Searing. . . . Chancy’s fictional portrait of the survivors and victims is both ode and elegy.
Not since W. G. Sebald has somebody succeeded in evoking such a rich
sense of the history of disaster. . . . She has unimpeachable
credibility—and a clear purpose: People do persist, not merely suffer.
Written by a Haitian Canadian American author, this novel paints
Haiti’s 2010 earthquake and its aftermath through 10 points of view,
from a wealthy water executive to an architect returning from Rwanda to
deal with the earthquake’s aftermath.
—The New York Times Book Review
Many of us are hungry for stories of survival and resilience in this precarious world where the for-grantedness of life is fractured. This book delivers.
—The San Francisco Chronicle
An elegiac and moving portrait of Haitians as they experienced the devastating 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, this novel offers an ensemble of resilient, hopeful characters, haunted by those they mourn, but faithful for a better future.
—The Boston Globe
This is fiction as an act of bearing witness. . . .Chancy’s lush
prose engages shifting and intersecting points of view that reflect the
contours of an island nation borne of anti-colonial rebellion.
Chancy promises to illuminate the lives of people who in America are often fleeting visions on 24-hour news channels, noticed only when disaster happens.
—The Chicago Tribune
Compelling. . . . Chancy
offers her readers the rare opportunity to view the earthquake’s
aftermath from multiple angles, with every shadow of doubt, every
glimmer of hope, illuminating the ever-expanding history of the
catastrophe and its devastation.
—New York Public Library
Masterfully written and unforgettable.
—Chicago Public Library
Enchanting in its complexity, inviting but also deeply haunting.
Fascinating. . . . intimately written in such a way that you feel it.
—NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour
Remarkable. . . . Every element of the writing and characterization delivers a poignant experience.
Devastating. . . . Extraordinary.
Heartbreaking and haunting, this exploration of life in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after it’s hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake is sure to stay with you.
A really beautiful, incredibly powerful portrait of a community.
Powerful and compelling.
This novel, narrated by a cast of courageous and compelling characters, resonates with hope and resilience.
Lending her voice to ten survivors whose lives were indelibly altered by the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Myriam J. A. Chancy’s sublime choral novel not only describes what it was like for her characters before, during, and after that heartrending day, she also powerfully guides us towards further reflection and healing.
—Edwidge Danticat, author of Everything Inside
A beautiful, haunting chorus of voices. This is a heartbreaking book, a striking achievement.
—Zinzi Clemmons, author of What We Lose
A gorgeous and compulsively readable page-turner in the most haunting and stunning prose. If you love the works of Jesmyn Ward, Edwidge Danticat, and J. M. Coetzee, this is the book for you! Absolutely breathtaking!
—Angie Cruz, author of Dominicana
Myriam J. A. Chancy is a masterful writer. The book is devastating and tender, but it is not a spectacle of sadness—it is a show of humanity and care in the midst of great violence.
—José Olivarez, author of Citizen Illegal
An affecting and immersive—an important—book.
—Dan Vyleta, Scotiabank Giller Prize-shortlisted author of The Crooked Maid, Smoke and Soot
One of the finest examples of someone writing from a place of deep love and deep grief simultaneously—the story itself is wondrous and very, very human.
—The Globe and Mail
Beautiful and breathtaking.
Weaves together stories that will both break your heart and highlight the resilience of survivors.
—The Mary Sue
—Poets & Writers
—Black Book Stacks
A must-read. . . . a singular story of strength, sorrow, heartbreak, and love.
A plaintive and beautiful love song to Haiti.
—New Books Network
What Storm, What Thunder is a beautiful book. . . . Myriam’s novel makes what was lost when the earth opened up so clear.
—Read More Podcast
The voices are weaved together effortlessly, each more mesmerizing than the last.
Extraordinary. . . . lyrical. . . . dazzling. . . . Each of the voices entrances, thanks to Chancy’s beautiful prose and rich themes. This is not to be missed.
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Unforgettable. . . . a devastating, personal and vital account.
—Kirkus, Starred Review
A soaring, heartbreaking symphony.
—Library Journal, Starred Review