“Chancy is one of our most brilliant writers and storytellers.”—Edwidge Danticat
“Myriam J. A. Chancy is a masterful writer.”—José Olivarez
From award-winning author Myriam J. A. Chancy comes an extraordinary and enduring story of two families—forever joined by country, and by long-held secrets—and two girls with a bond that refuses to be broken.
In 1940s’ Port-au-Prince, Gertie and Sisi become fast childhood friends, despite being on opposite ends of the social and economic ladder. As young girls, they build their unlikely friendship—until a deathbed revelation ripples through their families and tears them apart. After François Duvalier’s rule turns deadly in the 1950s, Sisi moves to Paris, while Gertie marries into a wealthy Dominican family. Across decades and continents, through personal success and failures, they are parted and reunited, slowly learning the truth of their singular relationship. Finally, six decades later, with both women in the United States, a sudden phone call brings them back together once more to reckon with and—perhaps—forgive the past.
Told with power and frankness, Village Weavers confronts the silences around class, race, and nationality, charts the moments when lives are irrevocably forced apart, and envisions two girls—connected their entire lives—who try to break inherited cycles of mistrust and find ways back into each other’s hearts.
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. 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