Rainy Season: Haiti-Then and Now

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Considered the best book ever written about Haiti, now updated with a New Introduction, “After the Earthquake,” features first hand-reporting from Haiti weeks after the 2010 earthquake.

Through a series of personal journeys, each interwoven with scenes from Haiti’s extraordinary past, Amy Wilentz brings to life this turbulent and fascinating country. Opening with her arrival just days before the fall of Haiti’s President-for-Life, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, Wilentz captures a country electric with the expectation of change: markets that bustle by day explode with gunfire at night; outlaws control country roads; farmers struggle to survive in a barren land; and belief in voodoo and the spirits of the ancestors remains as strong as ever.

The Rainy Season demystifies Haiti—a country and a people in cruel and capricious times. From the rebel priest Father Aristide and the street boys under his protection to the military strongmen who pass through the revolving door of power into the gleaming white presidential palace—and the buzzing international press corps members who jet in for a coup and leave the minute it’s over—Wilentz’s Haiti haunts the imagination.
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About the author

Amy Wilentz is the author of The Rainy Season, Martyrs’ Crossing, and I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen. She has won the Whiting Writers Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Non-Fiction Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Award. She writes for The New Yorker and The Nation and teaches in the Literary Journalism program at UC Irvine.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jul 24, 2012
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9781476706818
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Caribbean & West Indies / General
Social Science / Disasters & Disaster Relief
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From one of our most astute contemporary writers, Amy Wilentz, comes an irreverent, inventive portrait of the state of California and its unlikely governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The prizewinning author, a lifelong easterner and an outsider in the West, takes the reader on a picaresque journey from exclusive Hollywood soirees to a fantasy city in the Mojave desert, from the La Brea Tar Pits to celebrity-besotted Sacramento, from the tents of Skid Row to surf-drunk Malibu, from a snowbird retreat near Mexico to the hippie preserve of tide-beaten Big Sur, along the way offering up sharp observations on politics, fund-raising, the water supply, the Beach Boys, earthquake preparedness, home economics, catastrophism, movie-star politicians, political movie stars, Charlie Manson, and location scouts who want to rent your house in order to make television commercials for bathroom wall cleansers or Swedish banks.

Wilentz moved to Los Angeles from a Manhattan wounded by September 11, only to discover a paradise marred by fire, flood, and mudslides. In what seemed like a joke to her, a Democratic governor nicknamed Gumby was about to be ousted by an Austrian muscleman in a bizarre election promoted by a millionaire whose business was car alarms. Intrigued, she set out to find the essence of the quirky, trailblazing state. During her travels, she spots celebrities but can't quite place them, drops in on famous salons with habitués like Warren Beatty and Arianna Huffington, and visits the neglected office of one very special 9,000-year-old woman.

Plunging into the traffic of California, Wilentz noodles out meaning in some of the least likely of places; she sees the political in the personal and the personal in the political. By now an expert on tremors real and imagined, she offers readers on both coasts insights into where California stands today, and America as well.
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