Edwidge Danticat is the queen of short stories and she proves this again with her recently published Everything Inside. Everything Inside is a strong collection of stories filled with complex characters, all dealing with major issues, trying to navigate life with Haiti being sometimes at the center of the narrative. I am such a fan of Danticat’s writing, and I found myself being immersed in this collection and the lives of the people represented on the pages.
The characters we meet all are first, second, third generation Haitians living in the United States or they are currently living in Haiti. I love that whenever I pick up Danticat novel I am further explored to the cultural nuances of such a rich country and Everything Inside was no different. With eight stories in the collection, it is hard to zone in on one that truly floored me, because every single one of these stories I rated either 4 or 5 stars. Danticat knows Haiti and I know when I pick up her book, I will be longing for a place I have never visited.
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The stories explore immigration, family life, relationships, poverty, courage and shame. The themes are presented in a strong, real and vulnerable way. Even those I only had 10-15 pages with each character I could not help but feel for them and their varying situations. Of the eight stories my stand outs were Dosas, The Port-Au-Prince Marriage Special, The Gift and Seven Stories. These stories really moved me because of the topics explored and how complex the characters were. From the young privilege Haitian who wants move to Haiti and help change the country, to the mistress trying to rekindle her affair with her lover who lost his child and wife to the earthquake…. Truly an amazing collection of stories that will stick with you.
If you are looking for a strong collection of short stories, I highly recommend this read.