Considered the best book ever written about Haiti, now updated with a New Introduction, “After the Earthquake,” features first hand-reporting from Haiti weeks after the 2010 earthquake.
Through a series of personal journeys, each interwoven with scenes from Haiti’s extraordinary past, Amy Wilentz brings to life this turbulent and fascinating country. Opening with her arrival just days before the fall of Haiti’s President-for-Life, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, Wilentz captures a country electric with the expectation of change: markets that bustle by day explode with gunfire at night; outlaws control country roads; farmers struggle to survive in a barren land; and belief in voodoo and the spirits of the ancestors remains as strong as ever.
The Rainy Season demystifies Haiti—a country and a people in cruel and capricious times. From the rebel priest Father Aristide and the street boys under his protection to the military strongmen who pass through the revolving door of power into the gleaming white presidential palace—and the buzzing international press corps members who jet in for a coup and leave the minute it’s over—Wilentz’s Haiti haunts the imagination.
In 1986, Jean-Claude ``Baby Doc'' Duvalier, Haiti's ``president-for-life,'' was forced to flee his country. A military junta had seized power, and the widespread feeling of unrest that had been brewing for years among the Haitian peasantry and the urban poor came to a boil, resulting in chaos: mass strikes, riots and other forms of violence. Wilentz's first book carefully, sensitively narrates these events in the first person, providing historical background when necessary, and telling the stories of Haitians from all walks of life, from the infamous ``Tontons Macoute''--a ruthless government-sponsored vigilante group--to voodoo priests (who speak at length of their magic), and including government officials, missionaries, intellectuals, workers and the unemployed. The former Time reporter's numerous visits to the island between 1986 and 1988 enrich her account with details of daily life, both in the dilapidated alleys and slums of Port-au-Prince and in remote villages tucked away in lush tropical mountains. Her vivid record of an important piece of contemporary world history captures the sad political and quotidian existence of an impoverished albeit physically beautiful country.