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Love, Anger, Madness: A Haitian Trilogy

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  248 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Available in English for the first time, Marie Vieux-Chauvet’s stunning trilogy of novellas is a remarkable literary event. In a brilliant translation by Rose-Myriam Réjouis and Val Vinokur, Love, Anger, Madness is a scathing response to the struggles of race, class, and sex that have ruled Haiti. Suppressed upon its initial publication in 1968, this major work became an u ...more
Kindle Edition, Kindle, 374 pages
Published August 4th 2009 by Modern Library (first published 1968)
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Alex Rosinski
Dec 16, 2010 Alex Rosinski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Breaking the Silence
“Anger” By Marie Vieux-Chauvet. Modern Library: 2010. $15.

Marie Vieux-Chauvet’s “Anger” is truly a testament of courage and defiance amidst one of the most oppressive and violent regimes of our time. Written in Haiti during the infamous dictatorship of Francois Duvalier (also known as “Papa Doc”), “Anger” is a rare experience for American readers because it brings to life the state-sanctioned terror inflicted on Haitian people. The novella confronts remarkably one of the mos
quite a number of people on goodreads have described this book as a book of short stories. it is not...stories that are over 100 pages long are not short stories, they are novellas. So this is a book consisting of three novellas, all written about Haiti. the author lived in Haiti, but was forced into exile in Paris after writing this book as it is quite disparaging of the Haiti surprise there.

all 3 novellas are written brilliantly and are quite independent of each other. I must s
Jan 14, 2012 Nicolette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nicolette by: Gift from Valery
Unbelievably rich with historic details of Haiti and it's political evolution. I enjoyed all three of the short stories in the compilation -- many readers did not enjoy the third -- "Madness". I suppose working with a population with psychiatric issues has made me more open to "madness".

The stories explained even more the psyche of the past and current residents and what it took and takes for them to survive while remaining resilient.

The sexual degradation of women and the battering of their b
Jim Fonseca
Sep 06, 2015 Jim Fonseca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
Here are three powerful, well-written novellas from a female Haitian author. Like most of the Haitian upper class, Marie Vieux-Chauvet (1916-1973) was a light-skinned mixed-race person educated in Haiti in the French tradition and who eventually moved to New York. All of the novellas reflect the incredible chaos, brutality and societal inequity that Haiti has undergone. Haiti is essentially an African nation in the Western Hemisphere. In 1804 the African slaves revolted and killed or drove off a ...more
Black Elephants
Love, Anger, Madness is a beautifully written trilogy of short stories that examine life under the brutal Haitian regime in the mid-1900s. My Haitian history is fuzzy, but like most put-upon proletariats, Vieux-Chauvet is out to talk about repression, depression and other bleak aspects. But she does it in a lyrical and engrossing way.

I usually don't like short stories, too. Although, I think each story, "Love," "Anger" and "Madness," are more like individual novellas that examine a different asp
Jan 03, 2015 Jasminka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Izuzetno tužna, tragična, iritantna (po sadržaju) i divno napisana... Triptih o Haitiju, kroz tri sasvim različite priče-novele, strukturno i sadržinski, pobudio je u meni različite osećaje... Prvo zgražanje prema zabranjenoj ljubavi i osećajima jedne četrdesetogodišnje usedelice, ali tako divno sročeno da sam na trenutke i sama tražila opravdanja... Zatim bes, ljutnja i gorčina zbog tragične sudbine jedne porodice čiji su članovi izgubili zamlju, ali i svoje duše, svoj karakter i principe... Po ...more
Steph Hearts Books
In 1968 Haiti had been under the regime of the self-proclaimed “president for life,” François Duvalier (Papa Doc) for eleven years. The once country doctor now had the pulse of the entire country under his commanding finger. With the help of his “tonton,” Duvalier had suppressed any notion or attempt of critique or opposition. In the midst of such fierce dictatorship that left Haiti’s poor-class still economically devastated and a bourgeois class under constant threat Marie Vieux-Chavuet, a writ ...more
Originally published in 1969, during Papa Doc's brutal and vindictive regime, where anyone showing signs of disapproval of his rule might be disappeared or suffer the wrath of his Tontons Macoutes (local militias made up of lower class citizens with axes to grind), Marie Vieux-Chauvet's husband apparently was so afraid of what this book would bring down upon their heads that he bought up all the copies available in Haiti. Her daughter did the same for the remaining copies selling in France. I wo ...more
Oct 15, 2012 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second Haitian author. (Edwidge Danticat being my first). I'll admit ignorance when it comes to Haiti, other than people of Haiti have a hard time...with government with natural general. so I'll assume this has a lot of historical tidbits in it that made the book that much better.

I was confused as to whom Claire killed in Love. I thought the bitch killed a cat (Yes, the bitch. Why? Because I am a cat lady, so i hate to even read abuse of cats, or any animal for that fact. Wanted t
Pamela J
Banned in Haiti under the Duvalier regime, this book's scathing criticism of the Duvalier reign of terror resulted in Chauvet's exile. I seem to think I acquired the original French text from the Denver Public Library back in grad school. When I saw that it was back in publication and in English, I knew I must read it again.

You can find a smattering of reviews that explicate the books triptych structure. But nothing prepares you for the palpable terror, turmoil, and pending madness that beset th
A trilogy of novellas, all powerfully written, about the devastating personal effects of racial and class politics in Haiti, its historical cycles of violence and retribution, and its brutal corruption. I much preferred the first two ("Love" and "Anger" which I'd rate 4/5) to the fevered surreality of the third ("Madness"), which felt less finished. The dark-skinned female narrator of "Love," with her frustrated desires and awakening sense of self, is particularly striking. The author, Marie Vie ...more
Apr 25, 2010 Manda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Not a particularly enjoyable read for its subject matter, but while reading it you can't help but feel its literary importance. Even though this is a work of fiction, the painful situations the characters of Love, Anger, Madness find themselves in were doubtless realities for many during the Duvalier regimes in Haiti. Vieux-Chauvet's novel was in itself an act of rebellion, one woman screaming out against the injustices she saw around her in the best way she knew how. It's a brave book, and thou ...more
May 06, 2013 Mayra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Page 156 marks the end of Love, the first novella in this trilogy about Haiti after the end of the American occupation. It's part History lesson, part glimpse into the sad life of a very strong woman. For very personal reasons, I identified very much with the character of Claire; much more, I think, that I have with any other literary character I've encountered. Told in diary entries by Claire, Love is heart-breaking in its revelation of Claire's turmoil, and eye-opening in the crude retelling o ...more
Oct 16, 2015 Judith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Translated by my friends Rose and Val.
Feb 17, 2014 Kallie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very tough to read, but gives a well-written account of the terror people suffered because of colonial (and so-called 'post-colonial')chaos.
Chantal Honore
This trilogy of novellas gives the reader first-hand insight into life in Haiti in post-Duvalier era(Papa Doc') as well as the rigid class and color prejudices and divisions among the society. I read this in the original french text and found some passages painful due to the knowledge that although the particular stories were fiction, they could have been based on actual occurences and are a true reflection on the country and its people at that time.
Kobe Bryant
I really liked the first story. Should've stopped writing if she wanted more than three stars from me
I can't say I enjoyed it, but I do appreciate the fact that this piece of literature exists. The three novellas show Vieux-Chauvet's incredible talent as a writer with each being distinctly different. My favorite is the first. It is wonderful to get into Claire's head. Although supposedly set in the late 1930's, this book paints a terrible portrait of US controlled Haiti under the Papa and Baby Doc regime.
Charles Ellenbogen
I read this because Edwidge Danticat said that this was the way to learn about Haiti and it is certainly much better than Kidder's book for that purpose. The language is lyrical. I marked three passages that I want to type up. There was not always a lot of plot, but scene and character are very vivid. Another reminder of how much history there is to learn. The personal and political are inseparable here.
Nov 09, 2010 Caryblockton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love love love this book. Vieux-Chauvet masterfully paints the complex nature of Haitian women in the oppressive Duvalier/early 20th century Haiti. At times both stark and dreary, both strange and endearing, the novellas are at once honest and true and stands as a confident affirmation of the character of perseverance in a terribly oppressive society.
Tara Hun-Dorris
Mar 22, 2010 Tara Hun-Dorris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Interestin in Haiti, Carribean, colonialism; love beautiful prose
Loved the first 2 stories in this book, which includes through unrelated trilogies about Haitian life. Couldn't really get into the third. Was reading this when the earthquake struck, and even though the author is long dead, her portrait of the desperation of Haiti seemed timely and relevant. The prose in the first story was beautiful.
Apr 17, 2010 Athenameilahn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in the original French and found it incredibly moving. All of the major issues that shape life in contemporary Haiti are here. I highly, highly recommend it. In fact, I'm excited it's now available in English so I can possibly teach it in a world literature in translation class someday.
Jan 01, 2011 Anne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I generally liked the book when there was dialogue between the characters; however, there was just way too much inner angst expressed throughout the narration. I suppose I should have expected that, given the title. I found the book tedious to finish and ended up stopping with just 40 pages to go.
Jan 26, 2010 Oriana marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this sounds pretty intense.
If not for her importance as a Haitian author, I never would have finished this book. It is always difficult to judge style in translation, so I can only say that the translation is obtuse and tedious. Not recommended.
Amber Berry
Sep 13, 2012 Amber Berry marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I saw this on a bookstore sale table today, and considered buying it. I am reluctant to buy more books, however. I have another series about Haiti on my "to read" list, too. - So, welcome to my list!

Sep 03, 2010 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the first 2 novellas were superb. Madness I found difficult to get through. Walking through the mind of a madman is not easy.
Dec 30, 2010 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am reading this one between two Edwidge Danticat books in preparation for a Caribbean theme for our October book club theme.
May 31, 2013 Jennie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed the first novella but the second was the time I got to the third, I just wanted it to be over.
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Marie Vieux-Chauvet (1916–1973) was a Haitian novelist, poet and playwright. Born and educated in Port-au-Prince, her most famous works are the novels Fille d'Haïti (1954), La Danse sur le Volcan (1957), Fonds des Nègres (1961), and Amour, Colère, Folie (1968).

(from Wikipedia)
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“Freedom is an inmost power. That is why society limits it.” 4 likes
“Fear is a vice that takes root once it is cultivated. It takes time to recover from it.” 2 likes
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