Seven years after the deadliest earthquake in the history of the Western Hemisphere struck Haiti, the island nation remains in crisis, all but ignored by the international community. At the center of this crisis is Lavil—“The City” in Kreyol, as Port-au-Prince is known to Haitians—the cultural, political, and economic capital of Haiti and home to over 2.5 million resilient souls.
This immersive and engrossing oral history collection gives voice to the continuing struggle of Haitian people to live, love and prosper while trying to rebuild their city and country after disasters both natural and man-made.
Among the narrators:
Juslene, who moved to Port-au-Prince as a child for educational opportunities but was instead forced to work as a restavek—an unpaid servant—and who maintains unwavering hope despite the loss of her family when the city was destroyed.
Johnny and Denis, a teacher and his younger brother, who spent years hustling for work and looking out for each other in one of the city’s sprawling post-earthquake tent camps.
Lamothe, a wry and well-read expert on Haiti’s clean water crisis, who is one of the many Port-au-Prince citizens dedicated to rebuilding his city and nation.
“A book about choosing to live and not to die, to fight, to survive, to thrive.”
“Nothing is more eloquent than the voice of those who endure and try valiantly to survive.”
“Lavil brings to the fore the voices of the people of the wounded city of Port-au-Prince … these stories are redolent of both pride and fears of an uncertain future.”
“Lavil is a powerful collection of testimonies, which include tales of violence, poverty, and instability but also joy, hustle, and the indomitable will to survive.”