June Thomas of Slate reports on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in NY1's newest living segment, "The Book Reader."
After a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, governments and individuals around the world pledged more than $16 billion for recovery. Jonathan M. Katz’s book, "The Big Truck That Went By: How The World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster", published by Palgrave Macmillan, explains with depressing clarity why so little of that money reached the people who desperately needed help.
Katz, who was the Associated Press correspondent in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake hit, has produced a captivating look at Haiti’s history, people and politics. It’s also a great primer on the challenges of reporting the news in a disaster zone.
Shortly after exiled Haitian writer Dany Laferriere returned to Port-au-Prince for a literary festival, the ground cracked open. "The World Is Moving Around Me", translated by David Homel and published by Arsenal Pulp Press, is a series of fragmentary glimpses of life during and after the quake. We travel along with Laferriere as he journeys around the city searching for friends, family members, and fellow artists.
Amy Wilentz was home in Los Angeles when the earthquake struck, but she soon returned to the country she has been visiting and writing about for decades. Her new book, "Farewell, Fred Voodoo", from Simon & Schuster, is a sophisticated, sometimes harsh corrective to fuzzy thinking and lazy stereotypes about Haiti.
Look for a review of "The World Is Moving Around Me", and many other titles, on the Slate Book Review: slate.com/books.