It’s summertime, and hopefully that means you have a few spare minutes to kick back and pick up a good book! A few members of the Heartline staff wanted to share their favorite books about Haiti. We hope you enjoy the recommendations.
What Haiti books have you enjoyed the most? Please share your favorites with us in the comments!
Breath, Eyes, Memory and Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat
“I enjoy Ms. Danticat’s books because she paints Haiti in a way I will never understand as a non-native. She opens Haiti up for me and gives me a lens into daily events that are tragic, terrifying, and sometimes beautiful and magical. She is one of those great writers who can weave words into pictures, emotions, and deeper sensory experiences. Definitely a couple of my favorite Haiti books, but truly some of my favorite all-time reads.” – Dave Kless, Heartline Media Coordinator
The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster by Jonathan M. Katz
“This book is an eye-opening read for anyone who has ever wondered what happened to all of the foreign aid and relief money that was pledged to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. In this compelling book, Katz mixes his firsthand narrative of the earthquake and its aftermath along with critical information about how the world pledged $16.3 billion in aid and then utterly failed to live up to its promises.” – Ashley Leonard, Heartline Communications & Sponsorship Coordinator
African Friends and Money Matters by David Maranz
“It can be very easy for foreigners living in or visiting Haiti to get frustrated with how Haitians handle money and relationships. I often hear Americans say, ‘Why don’t they just do it this way? Things will work out so much better.’ This book does a great job of comparing the two cultures and defining what material resources and relationships look like from each point of view. Each culture has a completely different approach and both approaches serve well within their original context, but don’t serve well in the other culture.” – Dan Ravenhorst, Heartline Accounting and Finance Manager
“It would have been great to have this book back when we first arrived in Haiti. It has fantastic insights into the depths of the Haitian/African culture and extremely useful takeaways. A must-read for anyone who is moving to Haiti or just wants to understand more about cultural interactions.” – Ryan Alberts, Heartline Web Services Manager
Serafina’s Promise By Ann E. Burg
“As a momma, I’d love to suggest a book for younger readers! This middle grade novel written in beautiful verse, rhythmic Creole, and Haitian proverbs shares the story of an 11-year-old Haitian girl who dreams of becoming a doctor. It paints a vivid picture of her daily life, and all the amazing people who support her vision – before, during, and after the earthquake.” – Danielle May, Heartline Development Coordinator
Sex, Family, and Fertility in Haiti By Timothy T. Schwartz, Ph.D.
“Schwartz’ book gave me a broader cultural awareness and understanding for the field I work in. As a midwife, it helped me see and understand cultural differences that I might not otherwise have been aware of. After reading and learning so much from Schwartz’ book, it helped me approach certain aspects of women’s healthcare and health education in a different, and hopefully more culturally relevant, way.” – Beth Johnson, Certified Professional Midwife – Heartline Maternity Center
Travesty in Haiti: A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, food aid, fraud and drug trafficking By Timothy T. Schwartz, Ph.D.
“This is a truly eye-opening and informative book written by an anthropologist.” – Tara Livesay, Director and Certified Professional Midwife – Heartline Maternity Center
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World By Tracy Kidder
“This engaging biography takes the reader into the remarkable life of Dr. Paul Farmer, whose pioneering community-based work in health and human rights in Haiti and other low resource countries around the world has saved countless lives. What I will never forget is Farmer’s organizing life principle of having a ‘preferential option for the poor,’ which challenges us wherever we may live to advocate for the most powerless and marginalized among us.” – Troy Livesay, Director – Heartline Ministries