This week in GalleyCrush, we are pleased to share an exclusive first look at Myriam J. A. Chancy’s What Storm, What Thunder, which is forthcoming from Tin House on October 5, 2021. Below, lose yourself in the rich purple and green tones of the hummingbirds that grace the cover designed by Diane Chonette, then read the poignant first sentences.
Perfect pitch: “Ambitious, intimate, and haunting, Myriam J. A. Chancy’s novel What Storm, What Thunder tells the epic story of the catastrophic 2010 earthquake in Haiti through unforgettable characters bearing witness to the aftermath, both communal and personal.”
First lines: “Port-au-Prince, November 25, 2014: ‘Oh. Oh ye, oh ye. Manman’mwen. Oh ye, oh ye, oye. M’pa gen zo ankò!’ My old mama used to say these words when she grew too old to draw water from her own well. I remember. When I made my way back to see her in her last days—standing in the tap-tap truck for long hours as we traveled the serpentine road leading out of the capital to the villages of the coast, all the way to Saint Marc, where I was born, and my mother was born, and her mother before her—I was troubled to see her diminished frame in her bed. I could see her bones through the frail, wrinkled skin that lay limply across them. I could see the bones, but still she moaned to the goddess plaintively: ‘I have no bones; I have no bones.’”
Book buzz: “What Storm, What Thunder is a striking and formidable novel by one of our most brilliant writers and storytellers. Lending her voice to ten survivors whose lives were indelibly altered by the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Myriam J. A. Chancy’s sublime choral novel not only describes what it was like for her characters before, during, and after that heartrending day, she also powerfully guides us towards further reflection and healing.” —Edwidge Danticat
Cover credit: Design by Diane Chonette.
Book notes: Hardcover, fiction, 330 pages.
Author bio: Myriam J. A. Chancy is a Haitian-Canadian-American writer, the HBA Chair in the Humanities at Scripps College in Claremont, California, and is a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.