57 books like Haiti After the Earthquake

By Paul Farmer,

Here are 57 books that Haiti After the Earthquake fans have personally recommended if you like Haiti After the Earthquake. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family

Keith Madsen Author Of The Sons and Daughters of Toussaint

From my list on the life and history of Haiti.

Why am I passionate about this?

From the time I heard of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed over 200,000 people, my heart was drawn to that country. From 2012 to 2017 I lead five mission trips to Cap Haitian, where we toured mission work, helped Haitians build an elementary school, and met so many of these beautiful people. I ate the great cooking of “Mama Jo” who, along with her husband, hosted us. I gave “horsey” rides to children at a Port-au-Prince orphanage; and shared in prayer and singing with churches near Cap Haitian. In short, I fell in love with these people. How could I not write a novel of hope about them? 

Keith's book list on the life and history of Haiti

Keith Madsen Why did Keith love this book?

This is an incredibly touching book! Mitch Albom is the author of other excellent books, but Finding Chika has become my favorite. The story of how he and his wife brought a little Haitian child into their orphanage in Haiti, and then eventually when it was discovered she had brain cancer, into their own home, was hard to put down. As an author who has visited Haiti many times and played with children orphaned by the 2010 earthquake, I strongly empathized with this story of a suffering Haitian child. Albom’s prose is flawless, and his ability to draw in the reader is inspiring, and you will not regret checking this book out. 

By Mitch Albom,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Finding Chika as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

FROM THE MASTER STORYTELLER WHOSE BOOKS HAVE TOUCHED THE HEARTS OF OVER 40 MILLION READERS

'Mitch Albom sees the magical in the ordinary' Cecilia Ahern
__________

Chika Jeune came into Mitch Albom's life by chance. Growing up in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 Haiti Earthquake, at three years old she tragically lost her mother and was brought to the orphanage run by Mitch and his wife, Janine.

Chika made a quick impression. Brave and self-assured, she delighted those around her. But everything changed when Chika was diagnosed with a terminal disease that no doctor in Haiti could treat.

This…


Book cover of Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World

Stephanie Nolen Author Of 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa

From my list on understanding Africa’s AIDS pandemic and feeling hopeful.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the global health reporter for The New York Times, the latest iteration in 30 years as a foreign correspondent. I’ve covered wars and humanitarian disasters, but it’s health stories that have always drawn me most. Health stories are intimate and personal, but they’re also about politics and economics, and social norms – about power. I’ve written about the Zika virus crisis in Brazil, child malnutrition in India, teen suicide in the Arctic – but no story has drawn me in and kept me riveted like Africa’s AIDS pandemic has over the past 25 years. I intend to keep reporting on it until the day a cure is found.

Stephanie's book list on understanding Africa’s AIDS pandemic and feeling hopeful

Stephanie Nolen Why did Stephanie love this book?

Wait, this book isn’t about Africa! No: it’s a biography of Dr. Paul Farmer, a co-founder of the medical humanitarian agency Partners in Health who died in 2022, and who had a major influence on how I, and thousands of others, think about providing healthcare in low-resource settings.

This extremely readable biography of Farmer focuses mostly on his work in Haiti – where Farmer did pioneering work on HIV treatment – and while it’s the other side of the world, it’s a crucial text for rethinking how we understand structural inequalities and access to health care.

The seeds of Farmer’s radical approach were taken by many idealistic medical workers into African HIV programs and indeed when he died, he was in Rwanda, where he co-founded the University of Global Health Equity.

By Tracy Kidder, Michael French,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Mountains Beyond Mountains as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Tracy Kidder's critically acclaimed adult nonfiction work, Mountains Beyond Mountains has been adapted for young people by Michael French. In this young adult edition, readers are introduced to Dr. Paul Farmer, a Harvard-educated doctor with a self-proclaimed mission to transform healthcare on a global scale. Farmer focuses his attention on some of the world's most impoverished people and uses unconventional ways in which to provide healthcare, to achieve real results and save lives.


Book cover of Toussaint L'Ouverture: A Biography and Autobiography

Keith Madsen Author Of The Sons and Daughters of Toussaint

From my list on the life and history of Haiti.

Why am I passionate about this?

From the time I heard of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed over 200,000 people, my heart was drawn to that country. From 2012 to 2017 I lead five mission trips to Cap Haitian, where we toured mission work, helped Haitians build an elementary school, and met so many of these beautiful people. I ate the great cooking of “Mama Jo” who, along with her husband, hosted us. I gave “horsey” rides to children at a Port-au-Prince orphanage; and shared in prayer and singing with churches near Cap Haitian. In short, I fell in love with these people. How could I not write a novel of hope about them? 

Keith's book list on the life and history of Haiti

Keith Madsen Why did Keith love this book?

This is the definitive biography on Toussaint. First published in 1863, it clearly showed me why Toussaint L’Ouverture was one of the most admired world leaders of his time. They called him “the Black Napoleon!” Reading this book brought back to mind that I did a report on Haiti and Toussaint back when I was in junior high (“a long time ago in a universe far, far away!") Even at the time I was impressed by how much the Haitian Revolution influenced our own Civil War.  

By John Beard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Toussaint L'Ouverture as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a reproduction of a classic text optimised for kindle devices. We have endeavoured to create this version as close to the original artefact as possible. Although occasionally there may be certain imperfections with these old texts, we believe they deserve to be made available for future generations to enjoy.


Book cover of All Souls' Rising

Keith Madsen Author Of The Sons and Daughters of Toussaint

From my list on the life and history of Haiti.

Why am I passionate about this?

From the time I heard of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed over 200,000 people, my heart was drawn to that country. From 2012 to 2017 I lead five mission trips to Cap Haitian, where we toured mission work, helped Haitians build an elementary school, and met so many of these beautiful people. I ate the great cooking of “Mama Jo” who, along with her husband, hosted us. I gave “horsey” rides to children at a Port-au-Prince orphanage; and shared in prayer and singing with churches near Cap Haitian. In short, I fell in love with these people. How could I not write a novel of hope about them? 

Keith's book list on the life and history of Haiti

Keith Madsen Why did Keith love this book?

As I prepared to write my own novel on Haiti, I searched for a novel of merit already written as part of my preparation. I found this work of Madison Smartt Bell, which was nominated for the National Book Award. This author proved to be a master of the language. I admired his ability to bring Toussaint alive, as well as picturing the culture of the time, and the complexities of a war that changed history.  

By Madison Smartt Bell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Souls' Rising as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A serious historical novel that reads like a dream." --The Washington Post Book World

"One of the most spohisticated fictional treatments of the enduring themes of class, color, and freedom." --San Francisco Chronicle

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
PEN/FAULKNER AWARD FINALIST 

This first installment of the epic Haitian trilogy brings to life a decisive moment in the history of race, class, and colonialism. The slave uprising in Haiti was a momentous contribution to the tide of revolution that swept over the Western world at the end of the 1700s. A brutal rebellion that strove to overturn a vicious system of slavery,…


Book cover of What Storm, What Thunder

Michele Wucker Author Of Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola

From my list on understanding Haiti.

Why am I passionate about this?

A love of literature and a summer with relatives in Belgium—a country divided by language and culture—inspired me to travel to Santo Domingo in 1988 to learn Spanish and study the fraught dynamics of two countries speaking different languages but sharing an island. My time in the Dominican Republic and Haiti inspired a lifelong exploration of complex issues. Today I write about risk, drawing on psychology, culture, policy, and economics, as in Why the Cocks Fight. My third book, The Gray Rhino, calls for a fresh look at obvious, looming threats. The sequel, You Are What You Risk, explores risk perceptions and attitudes through a comparative, socio-cultural lens.

Michele's book list on understanding Haiti

Michele Wucker Why did Michele love this book?

It’s impossible to understand contemporary Haiti without recognizing the impact of the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country, taking an estimated 300,000 lives and destroying many of the iconic historical sites in the capital city, Port-au-Prince. Chancy’s powerful novel of tragedy and resilience depicts the lead-up to and aftermath of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake via the interlinked stories of ten characters from different walks of life. These stories drive home both how different the experience of Haiti can be depending on socioeconomic class and race; yet also how connected so many Haitian stories are to each other.

By Myriam J A Chancy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Storm, What Thunder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

American Book Award Winner


Aspen Words Literary Prize Finalist


A NPR, Boston Globe, New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, and Library Journal Best Book of the Year


“Stunning.” —Margaret Atwood


At the end of a long, sweltering day, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Award-winning author Myriam J. A. Chancy masterfully charts the inner lives of the characters affected by the disaster—Richard, an expat and wealthy water-bottling executive with a secret daughter; the daughter, Anne, an architect who drafts affordable housing structures for a global NGO; a small-time drug trafficker, Leopold, who pines for…


Book cover of The Big Truck That Went by: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster

Madison Smartt Bell Author Of Master of the Crossroads

From my list on Haitian history and Haiti today.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was drawn to Haiti for two reasons; the Haitian Revolution is the only one of the three 18th century upheavals to fulfill the declared ideology of the French and American Revolutions by extending basic human rights to all people, not just white people. Secondly, or maybe I should put it first, the practice of Vodou makes Haiti one of the few places where one can meet divinity in the flesh, an experience I coveted, although (as it is written) it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.

Madison's book list on Haitian history and Haiti today

Madison Smartt Bell Why did Madison love this book?

Katz was in Haiti as an AP stringer at the time of the 2010 earthquake that devastated Port au Prince and was the only non-Haitian reporter to experience that event directly. He went on to do investigative reporting in the aftermath of the quake and was the one to discover that one of the UN deployments had introduced cholera into Haiti by building latrines that drained into the Artibonite River. Katz’s book is sharp and thorough on the damage done to Haiti by both well- and ill-intentioned foreign interference, and also includes a short, clear, efficient, and accurate history of the country from its eighteenth-century founding to the present.

By Jonathan M. Katz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Big Truck That Went by as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the aftermath of the devastating 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010, there was an outpouring of support and aid from countries around the world. Yet, two years after the quake, seemingly little has changed as the country continues to suffer from widespread poverty, crippled infrastructure, and a cholera epidemic. Acommon Haitian street slang refers to"the big truck," the half-hearted efforts by the "blancs" who arrive to help but wind up bypassing the victims. In The Big Truck That Went By, award-winning author Jonathan Katz ties together the two crises that continue to cripple Haiti: the aftermath of the…


Book cover of Les Enfants des Héros

Madison Smartt Bell Author Of Master of the Crossroads

From my list on Haitian history and Haiti today.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was drawn to Haiti for two reasons; the Haitian Revolution is the only one of the three 18th century upheavals to fulfill the declared ideology of the French and American Revolutions by extending basic human rights to all people, not just white people. Secondly, or maybe I should put it first, the practice of Vodou makes Haiti one of the few places where one can meet divinity in the flesh, an experience I coveted, although (as it is written) it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.

Madison's book list on Haitian history and Haiti today

Madison Smartt Bell Why did Madison love this book?

Lyonel Trouillot is one of the most powerful novelists of our time, extremely well known in the Francophone world, though less so in the US, in part because of the difficulty of translating his intensely lyrical prose. He has a rare ability to make artistically sound texts based on very immediate reportage on the various Haitian crises. This particular novel is especially valuable in the way it relates the desperation of Haitian life today to the country’s heroic past.

By Lyonel Trouillot,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Les Enfants des Héros as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Deux enfants courent, fuyant la misère du bidonville, le destin, le corps d'un père alcoolique et violent qu'ils viennent de tuer. Tableau d'une population désorientée et meurtrie, privée d'échappatoire, ce récit est un bouleversant cri d'alarme au coeur de l'indifférence.


Book cover of General Sun, My Brother

Michele Wucker Author Of Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola

From my list on understanding Haiti.

Why am I passionate about this?

A love of literature and a summer with relatives in Belgium—a country divided by language and culture—inspired me to travel to Santo Domingo in 1988 to learn Spanish and study the fraught dynamics of two countries speaking different languages but sharing an island. My time in the Dominican Republic and Haiti inspired a lifelong exploration of complex issues. Today I write about risk, drawing on psychology, culture, policy, and economics, as in Why the Cocks Fight. My third book, The Gray Rhino, calls for a fresh look at obvious, looming threats. The sequel, You Are What You Risk, explores risk perceptions and attitudes through a comparative, socio-cultural lens.

Michele's book list on understanding Haiti

Michele Wucker Why did Michele love this book?

The Haitian writer narrates this 1955 novel about the 1937 massacre of Haitians in the Dominican Republic via a laborer, Hilarion, who is thrown into prison for petty theft and politically awakened by a fellow inmate (a stand-in for the author). After he is released, he meets his love, Claire-Heureuse. Political upheaval sends them across the Dominican border, where he cuts cane then joins in a strike. When the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo orders an ethnic cleansing, Hilarion is mortally wounded as he tries to return to Haiti across the Massacre River along the northern border.

By Jacques Stephen Alexis, Carrol F. Coates (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked General Sun, My Brother as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An English translation of "Compere General Soleil", published in France in 1955. This novel depicts the nightmarish journey of a labourer and his wife from the slums of Port-au-Prince to the cane fields of the Dominican Republic, and personifies the sun as friend and leader of the workers.


Book cover of Love, Anger, Madness: A Haitian Triptych

Destiny O. Birdsong Author Of Nobody's Magic

From my list on novellas written by Black people on Black people.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nobody’s Magic began, not as the series of novellas it became, but as a collection of stories I couldn’t stop telling. And it wasn’t just my characters’ comings and goings that enthralled me. It was the way they demanded I let them tell their own stories. I enjoy reading and writing novellas because they allow space for action, voice, and reflection, and they can tackle manifold themes and conversations in a space that is both large and small. At the same time, they demand endings that are neither predictable nor neat, but rather force the reader to speculate on what becomes of these characters they’ve come to know and love. 

Destiny's book list on novellas written by Black people on Black people

Destiny O. Birdsong Why did Destiny love this book?

I wasn’t far into Love before it became crystal clear why its author fled her native Haiti after publishing it, in spite of the fact that the novella is ostensibly historical fiction. The narrator Claire’s depiction of a Duvalier-esque commandant is a scathing one, and in truth, no one escapes Claire’s acerbic wit, keen eye for detail, and incisive observations about colorism, class, and the perpetual violence that is engendered by colonial rule and persists long after its end. Claire is both an unreliable narrator—she is jealous, petty, and bitterly indignant about her treatment by her family—and yet, a trustworthy one. Love taught me how to create a Black woman narrator who does not have to be trusted (or even liked) to be listened to, believed. 

By Marie Vieux-Chauvet, Rose-Myriam Rejouis (translator), Val Vinokur (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Love, Anger, Madness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The only English translation of “a masterpiece” (The Nation)—a stunning trilogy of novellas about the soul-crushing cost of life under a violent Haitian dictatorship, featuring an introduction by Edwidge Danticat
 
Originally published in 1968, Love, Anger, Madness virtually disappeared from circulation until its republication in France in 2005. Set in the barely fictionalized Haiti of “Papa Doc” Duvalier’s repressive rule, Marie Vieux-Chauvet’s writing was so powerful and so incendiary that she was forced to flee to the United States. Yet Love, Anger, Madness endures.
 
Claire, the narrator of Love, is the eldest of three daughters who surrenders her dreams of…


Book cover of The Haitians: A Decolonial History

Michael Kwass Author Of Contraband: Louis Mandrin and the Making of a Global Underground

From my list on the Haitian Revolution from a historian of France.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University who studies the history of France and the French empire. My research stretches from the age of Louis XIV through the French Revolution, exploring questions of political economy, capitalism, empire, the Enlightenment, and popular culture. At a moment when historical research is becoming increasingly specialized, my work builds bridges between political, economic, and cultural history. 

Michael's book list on the Haitian Revolution from a historian of France

Michael Kwass Why did Michael love this book?

When you think about Columbus arriving in Haiti, Casimir asks, do you imagine yourself on the boat or on the shore? With deep insight, Casimir writes from the perspective of those on the shore, producing a decolonial history that emphasizes how rural Haitians drew on African traditions to resist the brutal system of plantation slavery imposed by French colonists. Further, he shows how patterns of popular resistance persisted during and after the Haitian Revolution, when Haitian elites attempted to revive parts of the plantation system. This is one of the most insightful and compelling books I read this year.

By Jean Casimir, Laurent Dubois (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Haitians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this sweeping history, leading Haitian intellectual Jean Casimir argues that the story of Haiti should not begin with the usual image of Saint-Domingue as the richest colony of the eighteenth century. Rather, it begins with a reconstruction of how individuals from Africa, in the midst of the golden age of imperialism, created a sovereign society based on political imagination and a radical rejection of the colonial order, persisting even through the U.S. occupation in 1915.

The Haitians also critically retheorizes the very nature of slavery, colonialism, and sovereignty. Here, Casimir centers the perspectives of Haiti's moun andeyo - the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Haiti, earthquakes, and the Haitian Revolution?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Haiti, earthquakes, and the Haitian Revolution.

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The Haitian Revolution Explore 16 books about the Haitian Revolution