Book Notification

Myriam J. A. Chancy Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Spirit of Haiti (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Scorpion's Claw (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Loneliness of Angels (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
What Storm, What Thunder (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Village Weavers (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Framing Silence (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Searching for Safe Spaces (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
From Sugar to Revolution (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Autochthonomies (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Myriam J.A. Chancy
Myriam J.A. Chancy was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She grew up in Port-au-Prince along with in the Canadian cities of Winnipeg and Quebec City.

Myriam was a Guggenheim Fellow and HBA Chair of the Humanities at Scripps College. She has won the 2011 Guyana Prize in Literature Caribbean Award, for Best Fiction 2010, for “The Loneliness of Angels”. “Spirit of Haiti” was shortlisted in the Best First Book Category, Canada/Caribbean region of the Commonwealth Prize in the year 2004.

She served as an editorial advisory board member for PMLA from 2010 until 2012, as a Humanities Advisor for the Fetzer Institute from 2011 until 2013, and as an advisor for the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2018.

“Spirit of Haiti” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2004. A moving story about contemporary Haiti that’s dogged by quite the fascinating history and the fragile loves that are born from it. This story tells about how the lives of four witnesses of military-ruled Haiti during the horror-filled years of the Duvalier regime during the early 90s intersect.

These vivid characters include: Leah Ochun, who rises up out of the sea like a siren one morning just off of the coast of Cap Haitien, her clothes having been untouched by the water and blue stones wrapped all around her neck and her eyes blind to the light. Alexis, who flees from the island to search for land without any strife.

Carmen who is soon to be a mom returns to Haiti from Canada as if to the vodou’s call. And Philippe, who walks through the northern hills alert to the ancestral voices that still haunt its valleys and peaks, and his gay identity exploited in tourist trade while he struggles to maintain any spiritual dignity and a hold on some hope. All while his body decays from AIDS.

This is a novel that is ultimately about confronting the human heart’s failings and the triumph of memory over despair.

Chancy wrote this with passion in this sweeping saga of what it’s like to struggle to survive both in and out of a country that’s as troubled as Haiti. She dives right in, tackling important subjects as the tourism, expatriation, and violence of such tough to write area as the Caribbean. This is a surreal and lush novel, and is a mixture of didacticism and magical realism.

“The Scorpion’s Claw” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2004. This multi-layered and challenging tale is told from a womanist perspective through a network of narrative voices that encompasses two generations of Haitians, linked together both by bloodshed and blood relations.

In addition to the characters’ personal struggles with the harsher realities of postcolonial Haiti, the violent history from the previous six centuries of the country, from the savage years of colonialism and slavery to the chaotic aftermath from the fall of the Baby Doc regime, is explored, as well. The rhythm of the prose echoes Haitian Creole while this dramatic book unfolds.

“The Loneliness of Angels” is the third stand alone novel and was released in the year 2010. Offering a richly nuanced portrayal that places Haiti in a global context while a place of ethnic and cultural complexity, this book explores spirituality’s role in Caribbean culture and life.

Told through multiple perspectives in this nonlinear fashion, the narrative unfolds through the perspectives of one Haitian-Syrian merchant, called Ruth, who recounts her young adulthood and last days while she intuits her coming death. Rose, who is Catherine’s mom, and an empath that is believed to have committed suicide while in Canadian exile in a reaction the worst years of the Duvalier regime.

Then there is Romulus, a formerly famous Konpa singer and addict, that, after getting released by rebels from a Port-au-Prince jail hunts for his redemption. Catherine, who is a professional pianist that lives in Paris that travels back home to Haiti when she hears of her Aunt Ruth’s murder. Elsie, who is an Irish and working class seer that emigrates to Haiti in the year 1847 to find a new mystic to guide all of them.

Traversing over the terrains of Port-au-Prince middle-class life, working class French Canada, expat Paris, the peat bogs in famine ridden Ireland, and tracing the lives which cross boundaries of place and time, here is a deeply absorbing portrayal of one fragmented community whose deepest connections lay in a shared sense of spirituality.

Chancy delivers a mesmerizing and intense read as it navigates migrant identities and spans generations. Readers felt as though they were stepping into a world they knew nothing about and met some characters they didn’t have much in common with, yet were able to relate to them and understand them in ways they can’t articulate.

“What Storm, What Thunder” is the third stand alone novel and was released in the year 2021. At the very end of a long and sweltering day, while businesses and markets start closing for the night, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shakes up the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince.

This novel masterfully charts the inner lives of the characters affected by this disaster. There’s Richard, a wealthy expat water bottling executive with a secret daughter. The daughter, named Anne, who is an architect that drafts affordable housing structures for a global NGO. One small-time drug trafficker, named Leopold, that pines for a gorgeous call girl.

There is Sonia and Dieudonne, her business partner, that are followed around by this guy that they think is the vodou spirit of death. Didier, who is an emigrant musician that drives a taxi in Boston. Sara, a mom haunted by the ghosts of her kids in an IDP camp and her husband Olivier is an accountant forced to abandon the wife that he loves, their son Jonas that haunts each of them.

Lastly there is Ma Lou, who is the old woman that sells produce in the market that remembers each and every one of them. Artfully weaving each of their lives together, witness is given to the desolation that is wreaked by man and by nature.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Myriam J. A. Chancy

Leave a Reply