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Krik? Krak!

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  7,730 ratings  ·  677 reviews
At an astonishingly young age, Edwidge Danticat has become one of our most celebrated new writers. She is an artist who evokes the wonder, terror, and heartache of her native Haiti--and the enduring strength of Haiti's women--with a vibrant imagery and narrative grace that bear witness to her people's suffering and courage.

When Haitians tell a story, they say "Krik?" and t
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 2nd 1996 by Vintage (first published April 1st 1996)
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Dennis It doesn't mean that HE was the one to survive and the person remembered at the church is anonymous. So although someone survived to tell her story (a…moreIt doesn't mean that HE was the one to survive and the person remembered at the church is anonymous. So although someone survived to tell her story (and we can assume it's the same girl), we ultimately don't know who told the story.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
S.C. Hughes I had the same thought. The ONLY way they could know of those details is if that boat made it. It is still ambiguous if the boy survived from the firs…moreI had the same thought. The ONLY way they could know of those details is if that boat made it. It is still ambiguous if the boy survived from the first story, but the boat made it for sure.(less)

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  7,730 ratings  ·  677 reviews

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***read for women in lit course***

my favorite stories here were children of the sea, a wall of fire rising, and caroline's wedding. But, the collection as a whole was really powerful and full of stories that weave together well. would definitely recommend it.
Brown Girl Reading
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: literary fiction lovers, short story collections, stories about haitian diaspora
I’d never heard the words Kirk? Krak! and wondered what they meant when I picked this book up. Reading the back cover, I learned that storytellers say Krik? and listeners say Krak! in Haiti. Krik? Krak! is a poetic collection of connected short stories that explores the Haitian community in the United States and in Haiti. ...more
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: caribbean-lit
“These were our bedtime stories. Tales that haunted our parents and made them laugh at the same time. We never understood them until we were fully grown and they became our sole inheritance.”- Edwidge Danticat, “Krik? Krak!”

This selection of short stories was absolutely amazing. Heartbreaking, but brilliant. We see Haiti through different eyes, each pair experiencing a lot of pain and loss. Even with the knowledge that I have of Haiti’s horrific history, what Danticat wrote (using vignettes tol
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The sort of short stories that novelists envy. Danticat writes with such fury, with such purpose--about a topic neither you or I are acquainted with! (Well, maybe I don't know you too much, do I?)

Haiti. The last time I gave this country a lick of thought was when I explained to my niece how zombies are made. I am sooo horrid! Just like the orange infant in the White House--unaware, HAPPY to be ignorant of, places other than here.

That the book begins with an epistolary of two different souls, nev
Everyone knows what the baseline reader is. The body is abstract, the habits of the norm, the names of a conventional origin, the hierarchy unquestioned. To get a hint of the opposite, look at which covers are commissioned for thematic design and which consist of bodies and cultural artifacts. You'll learn about the blackened butterfly of this cover through one of the stories, as well as about the lives of the women that fit the archetype of my alternative cover that the digitized edition does n ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Beautifully written stories, featuring women in difficult lives. I particularly enjoyed the epilogue, "Women Like Us," that has a sense of a recited poem to it.

I had selected a pile of books set in various Caribbean places to read when I was in the Caribbean, so it was interesting to end up reading Krik? Krak! while I was in the Bahamas. A recurring theme throughout these stories is how Bahamians treat Haitians cruelly. Just a few islands away!

"They treat Haitians like dogs in the Bahamas, a wom
Kiran Bhat
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
One of the books that got me into reading when I was much younger. Krik? Krak! is poetic, raw, simple to read, and fills you with emotion. It's great if you want something that bites but doesn't push you too far. Danticat is a very raw voice, and while she's not a timeless genius, she fills you a lot as you read her. Great for fans of Jhumpa Lahiri, but who want to read something from a different cultural context. ...more
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
!!! blog review:

I really liked this! It was the perfect summer read, especially since most of the short stories in this collection take place in Haiti - the island with the indigo blue skies and the sandy beaches. It is very evident that Danticat wrote this from her heart and I felt her love for her island in every story. My fave stories were: Children of the Sea (tender tale of two lovers separated by political violence and the sea) ; Between the Pool an
Aug 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I remember when I was in high school, Edwidge Danticat was one of the new rising literary stars who was getting a lot of attention. It's nice to come back to this collection of short stories and realize that it was completely justified. Krik? Krak! is that rare collection which feels like a novel in its own right -- each story is not only a perfect gem on its own, but connects thematically to the rest of the stories to create a greater whole. The stories are linked by a network of metaphors an g ...more
April 2018
This was an interesting re-read for me because based on the review below, I didn't enjoy it too much the first time. Eight years later, I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. I love how each story reads like a book and how engaging the characters are. Some of my favorite stories were:
Children of the Sea
A Wall of Fire Rising
Between the Pool and the Gardenias
Seeing things Simply
New York Day Women
Caroline Wedding
Women Like Us

First book by Danticat and I am intrigued. I liked
Heartbreaking and beautiful collection of short stories.
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
I absolutely loved these heartbreaking and poignant short stories. Brava, Edwidge!
Stephy Simon
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Krik? Krak! is a collection of entwined short stories about Haitians, especially Haitian women. 

I came across this book while looking for books based on Haiti. The title caught all my attention, strange words that sound funny. Only after I started reading the book did I find that there is nothing funny in it. 

Through the stories, Danticat gives the readers a glimpse of the pain that Haitians suffered due to the complicated politics. Individually the stories cover some particular characters and t
Lekeisha The Booknerd
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-five-stars
Whenever I read stories from Haiti, I learn a little bit more. No, I don't think I'll ever fully understand the country's history or its people's lives, but I love that I get to know it a little. This collection is beautiful, even when the stories are anything but. Krik? Krak! is some poetic justice for the people of Haiti. Love this!! ...more
DeAnna Knippling
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Heartrending, elegant short stories from a Haitian-American woman, spanning both lands.

This is one of the best-written books I've ever read. Lush and gorgeous, tales that read more like myth than any fantasy story can do. Incredibly well grounded.

Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
"The Groom's Still Waiting at the Alter" is one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs, but it's on one of his worst albums. So I rarely recommend it. Nevertheless, it's a great single and it can exist independently of the album (Shot of Love) on greatest hits albums, live albums, and even as a single song downloaded from iTunes, Amazon, or a Torrent. You could probably find it on youtube.

If only short stories had it so easy. They don't even get radio play, for one thing, and few make it to anthologies,
Andrea Siso
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Danticat offers a beautiful rendering of Haitian life, in a novel that utterly evokes the many shades of suffering. Tears, the author demonstrates, are life. Tears are words. Tears heal the pains of the past. Stylistically, I feel that Danticat implemented a structure that absolutely suits her writing--there are separate strands of stories, implying the individuality of angst and emotion; yet these parts are unified by being braided together by the commonality of vibrant Haitian culture and beli ...more
Sajal  Shrestha
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Krik? Krak! is a collection of stories that mainly highlights the negative consequences of Haiti’s complicated history of violence and power struggles through the stories of lives of ordinary Haitians. All the characters that are given shape in this book suffer in some ways directly from the complicated politics within Haiti that has led to mass murdering and countless sufferings. On a deeper level, Krik? Krak! also underscores the important question imposed on citizens of all developing countri ...more
Kamila Kunda
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edwidge Danticat balances gracefully between what needs to be told and what benefits from being only alluded to. “Krik? Krak!”, one of her most famous collection of short stories, is a wonderful repository of hopes and dreams, pain and grief, desires and restraints of ordinary Haitians, united by the wish to live in a better world.

The stories are set in Haiti and the US, in the Haitian community building their lives far away from home. They reminded me, in a way, of Adichie’s “The Thing Around Y
Jan 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
She then gave me the pillow, my mother's pillow. It was open, half-filled with my mother's hair. Each time they shaved her head, my mother had kept the hair for her pillow. I hugged the pillow against my chest, feeling some of the hair rising in clouds of dark dust into my nostrils. -48

She nearly didn't marry him because it was said that people with angular hairlines often have very troubled lives. -65

He always slaps the mosquitoes dead on his face without even waking. In the morning, he will ha
Let's start with the opening story, "Children of the Sea." Imbued with dread, but with the sort of irrational hope that characterizes all wanderers and exiles, it's something of a wonder. If only the remainder of the book followed up on this promise. The rest of the stories struck me as merely OK, and all too often fell into the oft-repeated, thoroughly marketable tropes of "immigrant family fiction," (the Rebellious American Daughter, the Betrayal of Communitarian Tradition, etc. etc.). If you' ...more
Victoria Carter
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I bought this book way back in January and I wasn't planning on reading it any time soon. I think the cover always made me want to avoid reading it for some reason but I picked it up a few days ago and I couldn't put it down. The stories really were captivating and I'm not a huge fan of books with short stories so I was surprised by how much I loved it. I also loved how some stories tied in with others. Some of these stories will make you ponder life and others leave you gasping for air. Overall ...more
Mar 07, 2009 rated it liked it
This book about Haiti broke my heart! Though the common theme throughout the stories is surely that of "hope," I have to warn prospective readers that quite often, hope is crushed - cruelly, and sometimes violently. Still, the author has quite a talent for storytelling in the tradition of Haitian women with a poignancy and appeal that keeps you reading, and perhaps crying. ...more
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The most beautiful and moving stories I've ever read. They are about Haiti. ...more
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A haunting and beautifully written collection of short stories! Managed to capture the pain of memory & intergenerational trauma and of the healing that comes with loving. Love love loved this book.
Dee Provost
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just loved these stories.
Never Without a Book
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Still my favorite.
Edwidge Danticat's Krik? Krak! is a collection of stories about the Haitian experience. We learn about its traumatizing past and how it is viewed by Haitians living in America today. The eleven stories in the 20th anniversary edition bring in elements of folklore and share imagery and sometimes even characters.

As a reader who knows little of Haiti's history, these stories left me with questions and trepidation about the answers. Many of these stories are haunted by violence and suffering. A youn
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book a 4.5. Read it! Please watch my review here -> ...more
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I discovered the magic of Edwidge Danticat’s work through anthologies that featured her work, such as Night Women, a harrowing story where a boy has to keep quiet behind the curtain only to hear his mother prostituting herself. Afterwards, I read and expanded my knowledge of her through a Women in Literature class where we were assigned to read the entire collection.

Children of the Sea is a heartbreaking story of refugees trying to get to America during a hot day where everyone is passing out d
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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

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“No, women like you don't write. They carve onion sculptures and potato statues. They sit in dark corners and braid their hair in new shapes and twists in order to control the stiffness, the unruliness, the rebelliousness.” 88 likes
“People are just too hopeful, and sometimes hope is the biggest weapon of all to use against us. People will believe anything.” 23 likes
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