After the magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12, 2010, headlines counting the casualties began pouring out — and seemingly would not stop. “At least 30 bodies,” reported the New York Times the following morning. “Tens of thousands of victims,” the Los Angeles Times said three days later. By the end of the month, nearly all outlets were reporting the astronomical figure: more than 250,000.
In “What Storm, What Thunder,” author Myriam Chancy takes readers beyond the numbers into a riveting ensemble novel focused on the lives of 10 characters who were in Port-au-Prince, the epicenter, on that January day. The characters come from a variety of social classes and age groups, but they are all connected, directly and indirectly.
The novel is the fourth for Chancy, a Haitian-American-Canadian author who was a 2014 Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, a grant awarded to scholars and artists to pursue their work further. Having previously written ensemble novels about life in Haiti under different political leaders, she decided to focus on this unforgettable event that continues to haunt the country today.
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