Myriam J.A. Chancy

Myriam J. A. Chancy is the author of What Storm, What Thunder, awarded an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation and named a best book of the year by NPR, Kirkus, Chicago Public Library, New York Public Library, the Boston Globe, and the Globe and Mail. Her past novels include The Loneliness of Angels, winner of the Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Award; The Scorpion’s Claw; and Spirit of Haiti, short-listed for the Commonwealth Prize. She is a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and HBA Chair in the Humanities at Scripps College in California.


  • For fans of Elena Ferrante: Myriam J. A. Chancy’s Village Weavers is a wistful look at a complicated female friendship that spans decades and continents.

    —TIME, A Best Book of April

  • Chancy continues to impress with this character-driven view of Haiti’s turbulent history. . . . Her heartfelt prose lays bare the women’s inner lives, and the story is further enriched by its symbolism.

    —Publishers Weekly

  • 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.

    —Kirkus Reviews

  • Full of vibrancy, wistfulness and even playfulness, capably portraying the enduring tenacity of women in uncertain times. Reading Chancy’s portrayal of Haiti is a memorable experience—rich with contradictions and complexities, visceral and ever-changing.

    —Book Page

  • Evocative and reflective, Village Weavers is focused on friendship, family and the circumstances that can tear us apart—and bring us back together again.

    —Ms. Magazine, A Best Book of April

  • Powerful. . . . A beautiful narrative, masterfully capturing the unspoken nuances within social structures and in the way families interact with their heritage. A compelling and satisfying read that acknowledges the bitter truths of history and dares to imagine a path forward.


  • Astoundingly good. . . . Myriam J.A. Chancy is a virtuoso. . . . and Village Weavers provides readers an opportunity to share in the joy and complexities of Haitian culture and history at a time when news blasts make it so easy to forget the depth of the human experience.

    —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • 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.

    —People Magazine

  • Searing. . . . Chancy’s fictional portrait of the survivors and victims is both ode and elegy.

    —Oprah Daily

  • 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.

    —NPR Books

  • 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

  • Incredibly powerful.


  • 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.


  • Unmissable.

    —Harper's Bazaar

  • 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.

    —BOMB Magazine

  • Unforgettable.

    —New York Public Library

  • Masterfully written and unforgettable.

    —Chicago Public Library

  • Enchanting in its complexity, inviting but also deeply haunting.

    —The Rumpus

  • 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.

    —Ms. Magazine

  • A really beautiful, incredibly powerful portrait of a community.


  • Powerful and compelling.

    —Largehearted Boy

  • 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.


  • Virtuosic.

    —The Globe and Mail

  • Riveting.

    —Haitian Times

  • Beautiful and breathtaking.

    —Asterix Journal

  • Weaves together stories that will both break your heart and highlight the resilience of survivors.

    —The Mary Sue

  • Deeply haunting.


  • Poignant.

    —Poets & Writers

  • Masterful.

    —Black Book Stacks

  • A must-read. . . . a singular story of strength, sorrow, heartbreak, and love.

    —Apartment Therapy

  • 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.

    —Publishers Weekly

  • 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