Saturday, May 30, 2015

Drifting by Katia D. Ulysse (2014)

Drifting (2014) is the debut novel by Hatian-American author, Katia D. Ulysse. Although to call it a novel might be a little misleading. This book deftly straddles the line between the narrative focus of a novel and the variety and pacing of a collection of short stories.

Through a group of interconnected narratives, Ulysse tells the stories of Haitian women and girls, both in Haiti and after their often complicated immigrations to the United States. These are hard stories and rough journeys, but the wholeness of the characters and the richness of even the briefly described relationships brings in a wave of humanity and joy. Her emphasis on female friendships, both for girls and grown women is particularly moving and serves as a backdrop for the often pretty horrible other parts of the character's lives.

Ulysse is one of the strongest new writers I've read in a long time, and this book is both powerful and extremely readable. I haven't read many Haitian writers beyond Edwidge Danticat and reading Ulysse's book made me want to revisit what I'd already read and go out to find even more. You will like this book, y'all.

[Note: I received this review copy through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.]

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