From the bestselling author of Claire of the Sea Light and Brother, I'm Dying comes a long-awaited return to fiction: a collection of stories about community, family, and love set in locations from Miami to Port-au-Prince.
Everything Inside (Pantheon) is a haunting, profound collection by Edwidge Danticat—an answered prayer for those who have long treasured her essential contributions to the Caribbean literary canon ... With little introduction, we drop into people’s lives midcrisis, just as they’re confronting choices from which there’s no turning back; these characters feel not like strangers, but close friends ... How does an artist write so deftly from the outside about people’s interior lives? Everything Inside is an answer to that question: This remarkable writer shows us how.
Richly idiosyncratic characters and acts of tortured intimacy abound in Edwidge Danticat’s spellbinding new collection ... The curt, glittering poetry of Danticat’s 1996 short story collection Krik? Krak! has evolved in Everything Inside to a newly sober mode of storytelling that, for the most part, eschews the breathtaking in favor of the intensely personal and irredeemably particular. The relative simple premises in Krik? Krak! give way to reticulated plots stamped with so many amply realized characters that it seems a miracle when Danticat manages to wring coherence from their interweavings. Gone are the fervent accretions of metaphor, the airy style, and the mythic quality that typified her early work; in their place, Danticat doles out prickly investigations of transnational identity that are thickened by circumstance and mucked up by globalization. The bountiful, heartrending stories are circumfused with the impossibilities, grand and small alike, of lives lived in two places. Danticat restlessly interrogates the longings of distance, the disjunctions of diasporic experience, and the unsteady palimpsests of emotions that dwell in her characters’ hearts ... Danticat’s stories are careful to elude any totalizing of the immigrant experience ... Danticat’s hand, bewitched by her own tremendous gifts of empathy, applies a balm that, in its belatedness, only underscores, once again, the private histories of fracture and scission that have gone before.
The stories in Everything Inside were published over a 12-year period, from 2006 to just last year. What brings them together, apart from the land and people of Haiti, which has dominated so much of this writer’s career, are Danticat’s precise yet emotionally charged prose and the way she has curated this slim volume, bringing its elements together to create a satisfying whole ... a beautiful book.