Ayiti by Roxane Gay


In Ayiti, a married couple seeking boat passage to America prepares to leave their homeland. A young woman procures a voodoo love potion to ensnare a childhood classmate. A mother takes a foreign soldier into her home as a boarder, and into her bed. And a woman conceives a daughter on the bank of a river while fleeing a horrific massacre, a daughter who later moves to America for a new life but is perpetually haunted by the mysterious scent of bl...

Details Ayiti

Release DateJun 12th, 2018
PublisherGrove Press
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Poetry, Writing, Essays

Reviews Ayiti

  • Roxane
    I wrote it and all but it's pretty good.
  • Carol
    Ayiti is Roxanne Gay’s debut short story collection. The pages are few. The impact large. Each story flows into the next, although they are unrelated to one another with the exception of the overriding theme of Haiti, as a nation, a place of origin, a place with a complex history – one that grounds those who leave and often presents difficulties to those who stay. Gay’s writing is simultaneously demanding and easy. Love. Tragedy. Death. Sur...
  • Esil
    I am a big fan of Roxanne Gay’s writing, and I really liked this one. Ayiti is a slim collection of short of stories, that appears to have been first published a few years ago. The stories are all focused on characters in Haiti or characters from Haiti, which is where Gay’s own family comes from. There are a few longer stories, and many very short snippets. There is one story in particular that I really liked that I gather formed the basis fo...
  • Hannah
    Surprising absolutely no one, I loved this book. It’s not quite as good as Roxane Gay‘s second collection (Difficult Women) but then not many things are.Review to come.
  • Meike
    Now I get why people love Roxane Gay! This short story collection contains 15 texts of varying length that all deal with Haiti and its people. In the acknowledgements, the author states: "I write about Haiti and the Haitian American experience from a place of great privilege but also a place of great pride" - and this pride shows in the texts themselves. Gay's stories radiate love for the country, its culture and the Haitian people, and the emoti...
  • Kirsty
    I have heard nothing but praise for Roxane Gay, and this collection of tales set entirely in Haiti - 'a place run through with pain' - really appealed to me. Ayiti is accurately described in its blurb as 'a powerful collection exploring the Haitian diaspora experience'. Some of the stories included are little more than vignettes, or fragments of tales, examining one or two elements of the migrant experience, and covering just a couple of pages. O...
  • Didi
    Having read but one short collection this entire year, I'm ending 2014 with a really good one. I was gifted this signed copy by a friend and I am so grateful. Ayiti is Roxane Gay's debut novel of short stories. It confronts the reader with Haiti, the good and the bad. It consists of fifteen stories all carrying different themes about Haiti and Haitians. Click the link to read the rest of the review. https://didibooksenglish.wordpress.co...
  • BookOfCinz
    I got this copy from Netgalley and I am so happy I requested it. Ayiti by Roxane Gay is an exceptional collection of short stories that speaks to Haiti. I am amazed that this is a debut novel, but then again, why? Roxane Gay is a master author so I should expect her debut to be flawless. We don't read a lot about Haiti and Haitians, and when we do it is hardly from someone who is intimate with the country's culture and practices. I am happy Gay c...
  • Myfanwy
    At the heart of Roxane Gay's devastating debut collection, Ayiti, is truth. Whether a language is shared or a language divides, what it offers, when spoken with strength and authority, is an opportunity to share the truth. There is a connection to the desire for truth from the title of the book, which is the Haitian Creole for Haiti, to the final words, which are about more than language. The final words are about that which is beyond language. T...
  • Brooke
    This is my first Roxanne Gay book and I can understand why her books are so popular. Ayiti is small, but mighty. The stories, no matter how short, are so powerful. They speak of suffering and resilience, of a country of unspeakable hardship and undeniable love. My favourite story was "Sweet on the Tongue", but all of them broke me in ways I didn't expect. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an hon...
  • Paula Bardell-Hedley
    “We are keepers of secrets. We are secrets ourselves. We try to protect each other from the geography of so much sorrow. I don't know that we succeed.” Sweaty! Sticky! Airless! Humid! Ayiti exudes uncomfortably clammy adjectives – though one senses no single word could ever adequately describe the insufferable sultriness of a typical Haitian day without even a small electric fan to stir the fug.Haiti became the world's first black-led rep...
  • Krystal
    This powerful debut collection of stories illuminate Roxane Gay's brilliance in her masterful ability to weave different narratives with humour and insightful depth at every imaginable turn!
  • Rachel Aloise
    Ayiti is a completely gripping collection of short, sharp, genre-defying writings. The pieces offer a diverse perspective on Haitian American identity and the immigrant experience. In precise, direct language Gay explores the cultural traits that bond, as well as, more often than not, divide people. “For many years, we didn’t realize our parents had accents, that their voices sounded different to unkind American ears. All we heard was home. T...
  • Nikki
    I find myself not sure what to write about Ayiti. It’s a collection of short stories set in Haiti, or with Haitian characters. It evokes Haiti as a place of both beauty and struggle, the sun and the salt of the sea and the stench of blood. The inevitability of kidnap, of beggars, of hunger, of a need to leave. The stories are sensual, some sexual; packed with feeling and meaning.It’s such a small collection that I feel like all I can remember...
  • Kimberley
    Thank you Edelweiss+ for an advanced eGalley of this edition of Ayiti.This collection of stories--highlighting both the Haitian and the Haitian-American immigrant experience--is not new. It was originally released in 2011. However, this edition will be more widely available, and includes several new stories.Since I did not read the initial release, all of these were new to me, and I found that I was most drawn to three stories: Cheap, Fast, Filli...
  • Jamise // Spines & Vines
    Review pending
  • Stephanie Mills
    ***I received Ayiti through Netgalley from Grove Atlantic Grove Press for a honest review*** First let me just say this was my first read by Roxane Gay. Reading this felt like the biggest tease in the best of ways! I feel in love with each and everyone of these short story's. This book encompassed many things Love. Tragedy. Death. Survival. Aging. Machetes. Struggle. Friendship. the list could go on! This collection of short story's had me hooked...
  • Brittany
    Ayiti is a collection of short stories all centering around the Haitian-American experience or Haitian immigration. Many of the stories are beautifully, and artfully written. My only issue with the collection was that some names were repeated in other stories. I was confused if this was done on purpose to bring some of the characters into the lives of other characters or if she just re-used names- it wasn't very clear or consistent. I also felt l...
  • Adam Di Filippe
    A fantastic collection of essays/short stories, and some poetry.
  • Xian Xian
    I live under a rock and I never read a single Roxane Gay book until now. I’ve always followed her on social media because I liked what she said and found her essays to be mind opening. She’s a brilliant women, the type of feminist I look up to, well this is based on what I’ve read online, I’ve never actually read Bad Feminist. And one of her books was on sale in late November last year and I had already bought a load of books on Kindle, O...
  • Matt
    I enjoyed these hard knock stories of life in Haiti pretty well, and think that as a collection this shows great promise-- there are a couple kinds of stories here, those of people still in Haiti, those who have left, and those who find themselves somewhere in between. The stories take risks with unusual shapes and approaches-- some are very in-the-moment, others are self-consciously literary, and often, in spite of the gritty circumstances the c...
  • Matthew Salesses
    I thought I already gave this five stars. In my mind, as soon as I finished this book, I went on Goodreads and gave this book five stars. Five stars is what this book deserves for being such a kick in the heart. It will kick you until your heart stops and then kick you until you come back to life.AYITI consists of a number of stories about Haitian characters and the Haitian diaspora. Many of the stories use interesting forms. All of the stories a...
  • Shawn Mooney
    My first Roxane Gay. Okay, people, I get what all the fuss is about. Although this is a somewhat uneven collection of stories and prose poems, holy smokes is Gay's writing ever snappy, breezy, incantatory! These pieces crack open the Haitian and Haitian-American experience with whimsy and myth. This is the kind of writing--these are the kind of stories--that can turn the world upside down. Roxane rocks.
  • Mara
    Why am I surprised by how amazing this book is? Roxane Gay's HUNGER was my favorite book of 2017, and I also really enjoyed BAD FEMINIST when I read it earlier in the year. This was my first foray into Gay's fiction and boy oh boy... it did not disappoint! I'm in love with her voice, her prose, her perspective, and her ability to infuse hope into the darkest of circumstances. I so appreciate how she writes about sex (sometimes with consent, somet...
  • Cindy H.
    I was surprised to see Roxane Gay’s debut collection available on NetGalley as it was originally published in 2011. With a new cover (stunning) and a new publisher @GroveAtlantic Gay proves why she is my Literary Goddess. Her words are sharp, cutting, nuanced without always having that severed edge. Her stories are raw, personal, haunting ~ I discovered the Haiti Ms. Gay is so proud to call home in this slim volume of prose. Out June 12 💕If ...
  • Ylenia
    This collection, previously published in 2011, is getting republished in June with a new cover and I'm glad I finally got the chance to pick it up.I was familiar with Gay's style and prose and this collection just confirmed her as one of my favorite authors - again.Some of these stories were barely a page long yet they left an incredible impact. Favorite stories: There Is No "E" in Zombi, Which Means There Is No You or We, Sweet on the Tongue, Of...
  • Kathrin
    Gay’s debut story collection is a sliver of a book, but will still stay with the reader for a long time. Her writing is raw and emotional as she unpacks the Haitian diaspora. It was also interesting to read the short story that later became “Untamed State”.
  • KC
    Gay's rereleased collection of short stories about Haitian folklore, marriage, rape, love, anger, war, crime, and beauty. I especially loved the story called Sweet On The Tongue.
  • Heather
    In Ayiti, Roxane Gay uses the motif of Haiti as a lens to capture several distinct portraits of its history and its people. It's an unflinching study of a rarely examined, often stereotyped country, told through vignettes that explore love and loss and trauma and survival. On full display is Gay's mastery of language which flows through each narrative so serenely as to appear effortless.