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Madame Dread: A Tale of Love, Vodou, and Civil Strife in Haiti

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Kathie Klarreich, a white Jewish girl from the West Coast, arrived in Haiti as a naï twenty-something in the late 1980s. There she worked for a fair trade organization. Weeks became months, and months became years, as Klarreich, despite the spiraling political violence, became enthralled by the island, its lifestyle and traditions, to the extent that she started to grow d ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 23rd 2005 by Bold Type Books (first published August 22nd 2005)
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Aug 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
I really liked this book. Kathie Klarreich's memoir begins in 1988 when she leaves her San Francisco home on a 3 month buying trip to Haiti in search of handicrafts. She ends up staying in Haiti and writes about the next two decades of her life. Klarreich stuck to the facts and didn't get mired down in complicated political minutae. Her honesty and voice shined through her writing as she shared her feelings on her career, love and her relationship with a Haitian man, friendships and motherhood w ...more
Jan 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
If you can get past the klunky writing and the underdone self-analysis ("I came to Haiti to find myself"), you'll enjoy reading about one person's experiences as a foreigner in Haiti. Amy Wilentz is a better political writer and Ian Thomson had more travel adventures - Klarreich's tale is more about becoming a journalist at the right moment. Recommended for those who want to peek at Haiti in a few hours or less. ...more
Jan 16, 2010 rated it liked it
It was interesting to be reading this book when the tragic hurricane hit Haiti. I knew very little about the history or current situation in Haiti. The memoir is an American woman who lived in Haiti for several years, becoming a journalist and marrying a Haitian man. I grew tired of reading about the politics and would have like more of the personal. I did find the chapters on Voodoo fascinating.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jul 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
What was it about Haiti that kept Kathie Klarreich coming back to it? I never could figure out the charm of a country where the people live in devastating poverty and the leaders are corrupt and kill all who oppose them.
Dec 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I thought the writing was perfect, as the reader feels the emaotions and weight of the moment as the writer does, and it was interesting to learn about another culture. Unfortunately, I lost the book before I could finish it, but will be picking another up very soon.
Lysa Rieger
Feb 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
I might go reread this book that took a look at the vodou culture in Haiti. I read it in 2005 and strongly recommended it to friends at the time. I think after everything that has happened to Haiti, it would probably shed more light on the historical situation.
Jun 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Author makes a valiant effort to show how she fell in love with Haiti and its people, but her encounters with officials, and resulting pessimism, make it a tough read.
Pete Dematteo
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
a really, really spectacular book. brutally frank, especially about aristide and voudou ceremonies. just like a visit to haiti!
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May 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this book from cover to cover in just a few days.
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