Publishers Weekly, 2010-11-22 As Danticat (Brother, I'm Dying) points out in her excellent introduction to this solid entry in Akashic's acclaimed noir series, most of its 18 stories were written before the devastating earthquake of January 2010. This natural tragedy lends a strong undercurrent to the fictional takes on a country that was already ravaged by the terrible human problems of poverty, violent crime, and political corruption. Powerful genre-benders include Katia D. Ulysse's "The Last Department," a stylish, Poe-inspired story about the mutual enmity of two daughters, one who "made it" in America and the other who stayed behind; and Yanick Lahens's "Who Is That Man?" in which an innocent man gets caught in the middle of drug cartel business. Other standouts are Patrick Sylvain's "Odette" and Kettly Mars's "Paradise Inn." Many selections aren't especially noir, at least not in the way that most crime fiction readers would recognize, but Danticat has succeeded in assembling a group portrait of Haitian culture and resilience that is cause for celebration. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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