Same book (with just a few changes), same writer ... the collection is Roxane Gay's debut book-length work, Ayiti. Comprising of 15 short stories, including flash fiction and some essayistic pieces ... It's one of those weird neuroses of the literary world where a mediocre novel with boring bits, caricatures for characters, flimsy sub-plots, etc., will get published easily because there are 'moments of brilliance' or the subject matter is 'on trend'. But a short story collection, where almost every story has probably undergone a rigorous review process with literary magazine editors — as is the case here — is held to a different standard.
Gérard spends his days thinking about the many reasons he hates America... the people, the weather, especially the cold.' So begins Roxane Gay’s Ayiti, a compact but powerful short fiction collection that can be read in one sitting ... A disturbingly beautiful mélange illuminating the Haitian diaspora, each piece captures the humanity of a people, boils and all ... We, the readers, who are intimate with the United States’s sorrows, are left grateful that Gay has opened up for us another portal into the variety of immigrant experiences in our country.
A sudden, brutal and unforgettable immersion, Ayiti explores the intimacies of Haitian life in both Haiti and the United States through short stories, several as concise as a single page ... The lines are blurred and the characters seem to evolve out of one another. This collection reads like a fragmented history of the Haitian diaspora, rich in details and insight, but without a distinct structure. Each story could stand alone ... Gay surely doesn’t paint an overly optimistic image of Haiti, but she offers an honest one, an image of Haiti that is alive and breathing, not static and doomed ... a unique blend of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.