Claire of the Sea Light

Edwidge Danticat's novel takes place in the Haitian town of Ville Rose.

Edwidge Danticat

Just as her father makes the wrenching decision to send her away for a chance at a better life, Claire Limyè Lanmè — Claire of the Sea Light — suddenly disappears. As the people of the Haitian seaside community of Ville Rose search for her, painful secrets, haunting memories, and startling truths are unearthed. In this stunning novel about intertwined lives, Edwidge Danticat crafts a tightly woven, breathtaking tapestry that explores the mysterious bonds we share — with the natural world and with one another. (From Random House of Canada)

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From the book

The morning Claire Limyè Lanmè Faustin turned seven, a freak wave, measuring between ten and twelve feet high, was seen in the ocean outside of Ville Rose. Claire's father, Nozias, a fisherman, was one of many who saw it in the distance as he walked toward his sloop. He first heard a low rumbling, like that of distant thunder, then saw a wall of water rise from the depths of the ocean, a giant blue-green tongue, trying, it seemed, to lick a pink sky.

Just as quickly as it had swelled, the wave cracked. Its barrel collapsed, pummeling a cutter called Fifine, sinking it and Caleb, the sole fisherman onboard.

Nozias ran to the edge of the water, wading in to where the tide reached his knees. Lost now was a good friend, whom Nozias had greeted for years as they walked past each other, before dawn, on their way out to sea.

From Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat ©2013. Published by Random House of Canada.

Author interviews

From Haiti and the United States, Edwidge Danticat. It's been almost ten years since her last novel, but she now has a moving new book "Claire of the Sea Light" set in a Haitian fishing village before the earthquake.

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