Duvalier's Ghosts:
Race, Diaspora, and U.S. Imperialism in Haitian Literatures

Jana Evans Braziel

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"Theoretically sound and well researched. Braziel has written a compelling book on the literatures of post-Duvalier Haiti."--Millery Polyne, New York University

"A very original study, a tour-de-force that crisscrosses the disciplinary boundaries typically separating the social sciences and the humanities. It is richly researched, beautifully written, and will surely attract much critical attention and praise."--Valerie Kaussen, University of Missouri

From a position of urgent political engagement, this provocative book offers novel and compelling interpretations of several well-known Haitian-born authors, particularly regarding U.S. intervention in their homeland.

Drawing on the diasporic cultural texts of several authors, such as Edwidge Danticat and Dany Laferrière, Jana Evans Braziel examines how writers participate in transnational movements for global social justice. In their fictional works they discuss the Unites States’ many interventionist methods in Haiti, including surveillance, foreign aid, and military assistance. Through their work, they reveal that the majority of Haitians do not welcome these intrusions and actively criticize U.S. treatment of Haitians in both countries.

Braziel encourages us to analyze the instability and violence of small nations like Haiti within the larger frame of international financial and military institutions and forms of imperialism. She forcefully argues that by reading these works as anti-imperialist, much can be learned about why Haitians and Haitian exiles often have negative perceptions of the U.S.

Jana Evans Braziel is associate professor of comparative literature at the University of Cincinnati. She has authored or edited several books, including Theorizing Diaspora: A Reader and Caribbean Genesis: Jamaica Kincaid and the Writing of New Worlds.
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