Haiti Resources

Are you traveling with us? Or just interested in learning more about human rights issues in Haiti? Below is a list of books and articles that we recommend to delve deeper into this topic.


Haiti After the Earthquake by Paul Farmer
On January 12, 2010 a massive earthquake laid waste to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, killing hundreds of thousands of people. Within three days, Dr. Paul Farmer arrived in the Haitian capital, along with a team of volunteers, to lend his services to the injured. In this vivid narrative, Farmer describes the incredible suffering—and resilience—that he encountered in Haiti. Having worked in the country for nearly 30 years, he skillfully explores the social issues that made Haiti so vulnerable to the earthquake, the very issues that make it an “unnatural disaster.” (Review from Good Reads)

Toussaint Louverture, A Biography by Madison Smart Bell
In 1791, Saint Domingue was both the richest and cruelest colony in the Western Hemisphere; more than a third of African slaves died within a few years of their arrival there. Thirteen years later, Haitian rebels declared independence from France after the first—and only—successful slave revolution in history. Much of the success of this uprising can be credited to one man, Toussaint Louverture—a figure about whom surprisingly little is known. (Review from Good Reads)

When the Hands Are Many by Jennie Smith
Through their civil institutions and artistic expression, Haitian peasants, widely known as some of the world’s most impoverished, politically disempowered and illiterate citizens, debate the meanings of development, democracy, and the public good. Smith offers a historically grounded overview of how the Haitian state and certain foreign powers have sought to develop rural Haiti and relates how Haitian peasants have responded to such efforts through words and deeds (Review from Good Reads)

The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier by Amy Wilentz
In the tradition of Joan Didion and Paul Theroux, this acclaimed writer/reporter offers a vivid portrait of late 1980s Haiti—where the streets are filled with bustling markets during the day and with gunfire at night. (Review from Amazon.com)

Fault Lines: Views Across Haiti’s Divide by Beverly Bell
Readers accompany the author through displaced persons camps, shantytowns and rural villages, where they get a view that defies the stereotype of Haiti as a lost nation of victims. Bell investigates and critiques U.S. foreign policy, emergency aid, standard development approaches, the role of nongovernmental organizations and disaster capitalism. Ultimately a tale of hope, Fault Lines will give readers a new understanding of daily life, structural challenges and collective dreams in one of the world’s most complex countries. (Review from Cornell University Press)


Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat
When Haitians tell a story, they say “Krik?” and the eager listeners answer “Krak.” In her second novel, Edwidge Danticat establishes herself as the latest heir to that narrative tradition with nine stories that encompass both the cruelties and the high ideals of Haitian life. They tell of women who continue loving behind prison walls and in the face of unfathomable loss; of a people who resist the brutality of their rulers through the powers of imagination. The result is a collection that outrages, saddens and transports the reader with its sheer beauty. (Review from Good Reads)

All Souls’ Rising: A Novel of Haiti by Madison Smart Bell
The slave uprising in Haiti was a momentous contribution to the tide of revolution that swept over the Western world at the end of the 1700s. A brutal rebellion that strove to overturn a vicious system of slavery, the uprising successfully transformed Haiti from a European colony to the world’s first Black republic. Bell assembles a kaleidoscopic portrait of this seminal movement through a tableau of characters that encompass black, white, male, female, rich, poor, free and enslaved. Pulsing with brilliant detail, All Souls’ Rising provides a visceral sense of the pain, terror, confusion and triumph of revolution. (Review from Amazon.com)

In the News

Four Years After the Earthquake, What Has Billions in US Aid Bought? by Jacob Kushner, GlobalPost

UN: Haiti Has More Cholera than Any Other Nation by Associated Press, The Washington Post

What American Must Do in Haiti and Why by President Barack Obama, Newsweek

A Little While by Edwidge Danticat, The New Yorker

Bringing Back Baby Doc by Amy Wilentz, Politico

AJWS Global Voices Blog

Facing a Food Crisis: The Ingenuity of Haitian Farmers

Haiti Two Years Later: Why Won’t the International Community Listen?

Remembering Sonia and Our Obligations to Haiti