Ayiti (Grove Press)

Ayiti (Grove Press)

From New York Times-bestselling powerhouse Roxane Gay, Ayiti is a powerful collection exploring the Haitian diaspora experience. Originally published by a small press, this Grove Press paperback will make Gay’s debut widely available for the first time, including several new stories. In Ayiti, a married couple seeking boat passage to America prepares to leave their homeland. A young woman procures a voodoo love potion to ensnare a childhood classmate. A mother takes a foreign soldier into her home as a boarder, and into her bed. And a woman conceives a daughter on the bank of a river while fleeing a horrific massacre, a daughter who later moves to America for a new life but is perpetually haunted by the mysterious scent of blood. These early stories showcase Gay’s prowess as “one of the voices of our age” (National Post, Canada).

  • Buy the Book
“Ayiti” offers an exploration of the Haitian diaspora through a series of short tales that cut to the quick. This book is smart, emotional, and wholly brilliant.
There is a chance that Roxane Gay has published something great every day for the last few years. That’s why it’s shocking that—although this will change in 2014, when she has two books slated for publication—this incredible little collection is her only proper book to date. When we make a new version of this list in five years, we imagine it will include several of her works.
  • Flavorwire
Haiti has long been the most interesting country in the Americas. Its [Haiti’s] better scribes, among them Edwidge Danticat, Franketienne, Madison Smartt Bell, Lyonel Trouillot, and Marie Vieux Chauvet, have produced some of the best literature in the world. Add to their ranks Roxane Gay, a bright and shining star. Ayiti is an exciting new chapter in an old and beautiful story.
  • Kyle Minor, author of In the Devil’s Territory
Gay. . . rests her stories between worlds, where the unrefined meet the formal, where the beauty of poetic language is never fully swept away from the dirt and grit of honest and genuine moments . . . A debut that feels more like a veteran.
  • Monkeybicycile
Gay’s characters demand respect, for themselves and for Haiti.
  • Necessary Fiction
These are powerful stories written with verve and there’s this great sense at the collection’s close that nothing will stop the Haitian people, the human spirit, or Roxane Gay.
  • Ethel Rohan, author of Cut Through the Bone