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.
  • Hannah
    Surprising absolutely no-one, I loved this. I am a huge Roxane Gay fan and I love her short fiction nearly as much as her non-fiction. This collection of short stories showcasts Gay’s tremendous talent and her brilliant voice. While this cannot quite reach the highs of her second collection (very few things do), I still adored this.Gay’s stories center around pain. There is no way around that. These stories are grim and dark and very depressi...
  • 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...
  • Diane S ☔
    I have tried numerous times before to read this author. Each time I could not handle the in your face realism, brutality that her writing evokes. I saw this, a book of short stories, two new, the others rereleased and thought I'd try once again. Most of these stories are very short, chronicling segments of lives of those from Haiti. They cover alternate expressions of emotions, feeling, sadness next to joy, fear next to courage, brutality next to...
  • 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...
  • Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
    *4.5 stars*Ayiti was my first experience with Roxane Gay but it won't be my last. Ayiti is a beautiful work of short story fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and you won't be able to put it down. The stories all explore the Haitian diaspora experience and they all flow into one another, but none of the stories are particularly related in any other way. I've always struggled a great deal with short stories as it is a very hard medium to work in and...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Michelle
    This was actually a republishing of her debut story collection that came out in 2011. Apparently there are two new stories in it although I am not sure which ones they are. Basically they all focus on the island of Haiti and the immigrant experience. From a young boy being bullied in school, to a young bride returning home, to a married couple setting sail for America Ayiti is trying to capture the essence of Haiti. In one respect Ayiti tries to ...
  • Wendi Lee
    4.5 starsI’ve read a lot of Gay’s nonfiction, but this is my introduction to her fiction. This short story collection is cohesive in a way you don’t often see, all immersed in the experience of being Haitian: leaving the island or attempting to leave, coming back for traumatic visits, or choosing not to go back, trying to acclimate into American society, and feeling the burden of the stereotypes of what it must be to be a Haitian. The prota...
  • Julie's Bookshelf
    This is Roxane at her best. This time the stories are connected, though. So this reads more like one short-ish book rather than separate short stories.It's a compelling and rather personal (read: raw) portrayal of Haiti from several people's perspectives that all still read like one loud-mouthed Roxane Gay. And that's why we love her!Thank you NetGalley for this copy in exchange for my honest review. I probably would've bought this book myself ot...
  • 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!
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Jamise // Spines & Vines
    Review pending
  • Heather Fineisen
    Gay' s powerful prose makes up this slim volume of stories related to Haiti. Whether the subject is a rape victim or a boy being bullied, there is a strength and resilience in character. There is almost a little gotcha moment at the end of most stories that lets you know your sentimentality wasn't needed. Copy provided by the Publisher and NetGalley
  • 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...
  • Peebee
    This is a re-release of Roxane Gay’s first book, now that she’s more well-known and there are a group of us who will read everything she writes. (Except on Twitter — love her tweets but can’t keep up!) It is a collection of stories. Some are longer and more substantial, while others are so short they aren’t even really short stories — I guess they might be considered poetry, except they aren’t written with any kind of structure as f...
  • Nadine
    Ayiti is a short story collection about Haiti and the people who call it home.Gay excels at creating and crafting compelling and dynamic characters in so few pages. Some stories are as short as a few pages, but make an impact while other stories are longer making the reader feel the pain, suffering, and love infused in every word.Gay captures the essence of Haiti as a nation with a complicated history and the emotions people feel towards, both ne...
  • Bethany
    This is a beautiful, deeply moving little collection of short stories about Haitians in diaspora and at home. It is about pain and trauma, joy and hope, love, identity, and poverty. I found myself crying at the end of "Sweet on the Tongue" and I very rarely cry in books. These stories vary in length, but all of them are beautiful and heartfelt. The author does an amazing job of showcasing human resilience and capacity for love, even in the face o...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Adam Di Filippe
    A fantastic collection of essays/short stories, and some poetry.