Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Haiti Noir” as Want to Read:
Haiti Noir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Haiti Noir (Haiti Noir #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  323 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Featuring brand-new stories by: Edwidge Danticat, Madison Smartt Bell, Gary Victor, Patrick Sylvain, Yanick Lahens, Kettly Mars, Evelyne Trouillot, and others.

From the introduction by Edwidge Danticat:

I began working on this anthology about a year before January 12, 2010, when Haiti was struck by its worst natural disaster in over two hundred years . . .

Even before the ear
Published December 7th 2010 by Akashic Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Haiti Noir, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Haiti Noir

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ibi Zoboi
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
My story in here is "The Harem". I think this anthology will be groundbreaking. "Noir" fictio--crime/mystery fiction set in Haiti.
Apr 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the "Noir" series by Akashic Books that I have read. I was interested for the obvious reason - the Earthquake that devastated the country. What would the stories coming out of this country be like? As a bonus, Edwidge Danticat was involved in this collection of stories; so, how could I resist?

I liked the book once I got through Part 1. For some reason, these stories just did not interest me. The beauty of the short story is their length - the pain is short-lived if not
Apr 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Well-written and jarring. I won't read noir anymore because it's not my thing and creeps me out too much, but I certainly learned more about Haitian culture than my parents even told me about. It's going to spark some interesting conversation between me and my mother.
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Haiti churns out bad news daily whether it is a cholera epidemic, a returning dictator or two or the aftermath of the earthquake of 2010. Visitors to the island nation know there is beauty, culture and miraculous people. The armchair traveler has a plethora of news books out this year written by Haitian authors to choose from. The best way to jump in feet first is with Haiti Noir edited by Edwidge Danticat.

Authors and publishers are taking up the mantle of doing well by doing good. Rebecca Sklo
Jul 29, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime

"A wide-ranging collection from the beloved but besieged Caribbean island. […] The 36th entry in Akashic's Noir series (which ranges from Bronx to Delhi to Twin Cities) is beautifully edited, with a spectrum of voices."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Danticat has succeeded in assembling a group portrait of Haitian culture and resilience that is cause for celebration."
--Publishers Weekly

"A solid contribution to the [noir] series, especially for its showcasing of a setting not commonly portrayed in crime ficti

Jan 20, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've read more than half of this quite attentively, and virtually every story has been terrible. Resorted to leisurely skimming each time rolling my eyes. I'm wondering whether it was the selection of stories, the translations, or merely the Noir theme. I was really excited about this book and had this one on my to-read list for a long time. I came close to even shelling out cash to purchase this one for my kindle. Thank goodness I didn't do that.

Every year I end up giving one or two books a si
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing collection of stories linked by location and also by theme. Haiti Noir collects stories that touch on some expected and unexpected subjects in and around Haiti. The extreme poverty that some face is a common thread, as is the constant political upheaval; I found myself researching Haiti, as it is part of the world I previously knew little about. Voodou plays a part in several stories, sometimes in very subtle ways.

Edited by Edwidge Danticat, it was her story, "Claire of the Sea Light" t
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book with a collection of alumni from my undergraduate university. This is a great book for discussion and for delving into the culture of Noir literature and Haiti. The collection of stories is well balanced. Most were written before the earthquake shook Haiti, but three stories are included on these more recent events (one in the beginning of the book, one near the middle, and one near the end. Good balance!) There are also two stories by authors not of Haitian descent. Many differ ...more
Purple Iris
I really feel like the stronger pieces were at the beginning of the collection. With a lot of the ones at the end, I was left thinking "what was the point of that?". I did not enjoy the David Ball translations at all. They were all awkward and choppy. Large's piece seems to have been written in English originally, with mixed results. A lot of the pieces didn't really seem like Noir to me, but I'm no expert on the genre.

My favorites: Danticat's piece --very powerful and the end just sneaks up on
Feb 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthologies, mystery
This book is part of a series of 'noir' books which focus on greed, love, lust, murder, and other traditional noir themes. Other books in the series have featured locations such as the Twin Cities, Brooklyn, and Dublin. Haiti Noir is a collection of stories from 18 authors who either live in Haiti or have connections to the country. The noir stories of Haiti deal with those criminals who take advantage of citizens living in poverty or coping with natural disasters. Sometimes the wide-eyed and in ...more
Alex Rendall
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This collection of short stories was not something I would normally have chosen to read, but it surprised me with the diversity and hidden depths of the tales. The earthquake of 2010 looms large over the collection and while not all of the stories deal with it directly (only three in the anthology do), its effect on the country cannot be underestimated. These grimy, dark tales describe people who have carved out niches for themselves in a country that is often seen only for its corruption, pover ...more
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's begins like ...a sunny day, in a beautiful place. But, then you notice a shack, you see the squalor. A man sitting out front, smiles at you. But his smile has no warmth and his eyes are predatory. He asks for some spare change, his lips smiling, his eyes watching. You nervously reach for your wallet, his smile widens. You look for a couple of dollar bills among the twenties. Then you feel a curious burning, then pain, like a switchblade knife, in the gut. You fall, you're bleeding, you look ...more
Mar 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like stories about tragedy, death, abuse, crime, drugs, brutality and loss, you'll LOVE Haiti Noir!!

Many of these colorfully crafted short stories reminded me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his use of magical realism, albeit in a darker, heavier way. Good thing I already booked my trip to Haiti before I finished this collection, though, because it definitely presents the poverty, brokenness, and extraordinary pain and violence in this country. Only one of these stories ends "well," and was
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't often read noir, and this was an interesting foray into the genre. It's a book of short stories written by (primarily) Haitians, set (primarily) in Haiti. I'm sure there was a lot more going on in these stories that I didn't pick up on, as they made significant use of local language and customs. It's mostly stories by POC authors, and has all sorts of things from jealous parents to manipulated humanitarians to drug violence. But all of it has a lot of pain and suffering, much of it point ...more
Adam  McPhee
This one expands the premise from the other Akashic Books Noir Series by telling stories of everyday life and of the occult alongside the series' traditional crime stories. They have an interesting justification for doing it, too: apparently during the Haitian Revolution (and possibly still today, I wasn't clear on that) the word Noir came to mean any Haitian citizen regardless of skin colour, while Blanc came to be a term for a foreigner.

The anthology is bookended with stories about the devast
Jay Caselberg
This collection was nothing that I expected it to be. The title HAITI NOIR led me to believe I'd get a collection of hard-boiled stories in a Haitian setting. Not so. Most of these were dark, most of these were horror, either psychological horror or the horror of the human condition. Eventually, after spending some time reading, I was pulled into the surrounds, the patois, the feel of Haiti in several of these tales, and as such worthy as a background. There were not, however, actually that many ...more
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads, mysteries
This is not traditional noir, but rather stories of Haiti, which are dark. All but 2 of the authors are Haitian or Haitian American. The 2 non-Haitians are Mark Kurlansky who worked for 8 years in the Caribbean, writing about Haiti, and Madison Smartt Bell, who has written a trilogy about the Haitian revolution. A number of the Haitian authors wrote in Kreyol and these have been translated. There is an authenticity about this book that I believe is due to Danticat's meticulous job as editor. Thr ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Haiti Noir, Edited by Edwidge Danitcat, Narrators include: Robin Miles, Peter Jay Fernandez, Rachel Leslie, Produced by recorded Books, Downloaded from

Award-winning author Edwidge Danticat edits this collection of stories that puts a noir twist on the Haitian experience. From kidnappings gone wrong to

deadly sibling rivalries, Haiti Noir features some of the Caribbean nation's leading voices, including Gary Victor, Evelyne Trouillot, Kettly Mars, and

Patrick Sylvain.

May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this book before going to Haiti and wound up truly disturbed and even wondering if I should go. Then when I returned and picked up the book again the remaining stories were not so harsh. In my short week in Haiti I had also gained more of an understanding of the country and the country. The book introduced me to a few authors I will read more of, and I am pleased to see there is a Haiti Noir 2 that will be published soon.
Lucas Johnson
The balance between horror and mystery is well kept in this collection. I had a shiver run through my spine while reading through Gary Victor's effort. The rest of the stories are amazingly atmospheric at times. It may be that Haiti simply has an overabundance of this sort of tale in its experience and lore. I am now on notice that Haitian fiction can be intensely engaging. Even so, I probably won't run out to get an armful of writing from Haiti. I don't need any more nightmares than necessary.
Oct 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really uneven collection, a quality I might attribute to:

1. Writers underachieving or overreaching in their reinterpretation of noir;
2. Literal (and literal-minded) translation.

I loved a few of the stories and hated a few more, but plan on seeking out more from each contributor regardless. Trouble is, many of them have published their best work in francophone literary journals, likely hard to come by via public library here.
If you are thinking that Haiti Noir is going to be especially compelling, you're not wrong; or, as Danticat notes succinctly in the introduction "Noir indeed." The editing is really strong, but, as with any anthology, some stories were better than others. I especially liked 'Claire of the Sea Light' by Danticat, 'The Harem' by Ibi Aanu Zoboi, 'Maloulou' by Marie Lily Cerat, and 'The Last Department' by Katia D. Ulysse.
Apr 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: haiti
Extremely uneven writing, even for the better-known authors in the mix. Perhaps some of the original Kreyol stories suffered in translation. .. the 2011 review.
Reread in 2013, and I appreciate it better after being in Haiti and studying more about Haiti. Definitely captures the flavor of the darker aspects of life in Haiti
So excited by this anthology. The panel editor Edwidge Danticat did with several of the contributors at the Miami Book Festival was excellent. Mark Kurlansky was particularly eloquent in calling us to action in support of Haiti, and Les Standiford was his usual dignified, warm presence.
Oct 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The noir genre is not for me and, while to stories were well written, I found that they only highlighted the least positive side of a country and people I love. I guess it goes back to my first statement: noir is not for me.
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Enjoyable mix of short stories in this collection edited by Edwidge Danticat.
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fall-2012
So heavy. Difficult read but powerful and well worth the effort.
There were some absolutely amazing stories in this book - and some that I didn't care for at all. Overall a fascinating (but of course dark) look at Haiti.
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short stories. Prob. deserves more stars but I was a bit lazy while reading...maybe I don't like too mnay short stories in one collection.
Short stories by contemporary Haitian writers that together create a nuanced and complex view of Haiti and its people.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Istanbul Noir
  • Mexico City Noir
  • Kingston Noir
  • New Orleans Noir
  • Trinidad Noir
  • Havana Noir
  • Moscow Noir
  • Lone Star Noir
  • Mumbai Noir
  • Brooklyn Noir
  • Dublin Noir: The Celtic Tiger vs. The Ugly American
  • Delhi Noir
  • San Francisco Noir
  • Los Angeles Noir
  • Miami Noir
  • Las Vegas Noir
  • Phoenix Noir
  • Paris Noir
Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when she was twelve. She is the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; and The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner. She is also the editor of The Butterfly's Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States and The Beac ...more
More about Edwidge Danticat...

Other Books in the Series

Haiti Noir (2 books)
  • Haiti Noir 2: The Classics

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“The only way to save them is to immediately sever them from the place where they are born. Otherwise they will always spend too much time chasing a shadow they can never reach… San manman, motherless, was the way you described someone who was lost, brutal and cruel. Fantom, ghost, was another. People without mothers, it was believed, were capable of anything.” 0 likes
More quotes…