Myriam J. A. Chancy’s post-earthquake novel, What Storm, What Thunder, is forthcoming on September 14, 2021 in Canada (HarperCollins) and on October 5, 2021 in the United States (Tin House). Edwidge Danticat writes, “What Storm, What Thunder is a striking and formidable novel by one of our most brilliant writers and storytellers. 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.”
Synopsis: At the end of a long, sweltering day, on January 12, 2010, as markets and businesses attempt to close for the day, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude, shook the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, leaving over 250,000 dead, over 1.3 million injured and another 1.5 million homeless. The earthquake itself lasted for only 45 seconds, but nothing would be the same again for anyone on the ground, for any Haitian watching monuments fall to the ground from afar, on television screens, for anyone with a personal tie to its land. [The novel] tells the story of the earthquake from 10 distinct voices, of those who lived through the “before” and “after” of the earthquake from the mother who will never see her children again or her husband, the accountant, who cannot compute how he has lost everything in forty five seconds, to the child whose soccer dreams are shattered the moment his leg is amputated, to the errant daughter of a water-bottling magnate who himself returns to Haiti just days before the disaster with a plan to conquer the local market. This is a story of lives entwining and splitting at crucial moments in which all could be gained or lost against a backdrop of a city teeming with despair and locked in a history of repressed hopes and dreams. It is a story that calls us to remember, whether we are Haitian or not, and to rethink disaster not only as the story of a nation but as the story of
human beings who might, one day, also be ourselves.
For an excerpt from What Storm, What Thunder, please follow the following link below to Il Tolomeo, the comparative literature journal of the University of Venice, Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Italy: HTTP://DOI.ORG/10.14277/2499-5975/TOL-17-15-3
Another excerpt from the novel appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Vol. 56, in 2015; for a reflection, 5 years after the earthquake, published by the Massachusetts Review on their blog, please go to: https://www.massreview.org/node/396
For more information, see https://myriamchancy.com/books/2021-what-storm-what-thunder/ and, on Instagram, www.instagram.com/myriamjachancy