Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat
Genre: Short Story Collection
Publication Date: 1991
Recommended Age Group: 15 and Up
Summary: Krik? Krak! Is another good collection of short stories by Edwidge Dandicat. It deals with the life and cultures of Haitians either in Haiti or in the U.S. “Children of the Sea” is about these two people who are writing to each other in notebooks that they will trade when they are able to see each other again. One is a boy on a boat to America and the other is a girl who is forced to stay in Haiti. “Nineteen Thirty-Seven” is about this woman who goes to see her mother who is in prison and it talks about their visits and how the daughter has a hard time talking to her mother while she is locked up. “A Wall of Fire Rising” is about a man who doesn’t see a way out of his poverty and life. He eventually steals a hot air balloon and commits suicide by jumping out of it. “Night Women” is about this prostitute who is trying to get money so that her and her son can survive, she lies to her son to keep him innocent and hides what she is really doing. “Between the Pool and the Gardenias” is about a woman who is unable to have children but finds one on the street only to realize later that it is dead. “The Missing Peace” is a story about a woman who comes from another country looking for her mother and suspects that she is dead. She takes a native girl with her and they are confronted by soldiers in the middle of their search and are forced to give it up. “Seeing things Simply” is about a native girl, Princesse, and Catherine, a painter from Guadeloupe and their interactions together. The painter tries to catch the essence of Princesse’s people by painting her. “New York Day Women” is about a woman and her mother who have come to New York from Haiti and the daughter is following her mother around to find out what she does with her time. “Caroline’s Wedding” is about a girl who marries someone who isn’t Haitian and the story of her trying to win over her mother’s approval because of who he is. The epilogue ties all of the stories together and tells us why Danticat chose to write and what it means to her.
Personal Notes: I loved this book; I liked the way that all the stories tied in together. I think this says something about Haitian culture as Danticat says in the epilogue everyone is tied to where they came from and to their family. Her goal in writing is to help them speak out and to let other people know what the people of Haiti are like and why. I think it was a very telling set of stories and it taught me a lot about Haiti, something I didn’t know very much about previously and got me interested to learn more.