The Company of Heaven : Stories From Haiti

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  • Author(s): Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell
  • Series:
    The Iowa Short Fiction Award
  • Publication Information:
    Iowa City : University Of Iowa Press. 2010
  • Additional Information
    • Publication Type:
      eBook.
    • Abstract:
      Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell's award-winning stories transport you to Haiti—to a lush, lyrical, flamboyant, and spirit-filled Haiti where palm trees shine wet with moonlight and the sky paints a yellow screen over your head and the ocean sparkles with thousands of golden eyes—and keep you there forever. Her singular characters mysteriously address the deeper meanings of human existence. They also dream of escape, whether from themselves, from family, from Vodou, from financial and cultural difficulties and the politicians that create them, or from the country itself, but Haiti will forever remain part of their souls and part of the thoughts of her readers. Some characters do achieve escape through the mind or through sea voyage—escape found by surrendering to spectacular fantasies and madness and love, bargaining with God, joining the boat people. Marie-Ange Saint-Jacques's mother sacrifices everything to ensure her daughter's survival on a perilous boat trip, Angelina waits to fly away to Nou Yòk, Vivi creates her own circus with dozens of rescued dogs, Gustave dies a martyr to his faith. Throughout, the “I” who moves in and out of these dream-filled stories embraces the heavenly mysteries found in “the room where all things lost are stored with grace.” We begin our journey to Haiti with images of a little girl in a pink bedroom reading by candlelight a book about the life of Saint Bernadette, surrounded by the bewitching scents, sounds, and textures of a Caribbean night. Each story stands by itself, but some characters can be followed from one story to another through the transformations they undergo as a result of their life experiences. In this way, the collection can be read as one story, the story of a family trapped in a personal and cultural drama and the story of the people with whom the family interacts, themselves burdened by the need to survive within Haiti's rigorously class-determined society and blessed by their relationship to the company of heaven in which they live and for which they are destined.
    • Subject Terms:
    • Related ISBNs:
      9781587299216. 9781587299506.
    • Accession Number:
      667290030
    • Accession Number:
      334703
    • Publication Information:
      Print/Save 100 pages
      Copy/Paste Allowed
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      MARILÈNE PHIPPS-KETTLEWELL. The Company of Heaven : Stories From Haiti. Iowa City: University Of Iowa Press, 2010. ISBN 9781587299216. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=334703&custid=s3443875. Acesso em: 13 jul. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell. The Company of Heaven : Stories From Haiti. Iowa City: University Of Iowa Press; 2010. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=334703&custid=s3443875. Accessed July 13, 2020.
    • AMA11:
      Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell. The Company of Heaven : Stories From Haiti. University Of Iowa Press; 2010. Accessed July 13, 2020. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=334703&custid=s3443875
    • APA:
      Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell. (2010). The Company of Heaven : Stories From Haiti. University Of Iowa Press.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell. 2010. The Company of Heaven : Stories From Haiti. The Iowa Short Fiction Award. Iowa City: University Of Iowa Press. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=334703&custid=s3443875.
    • Harvard:
      Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell (2010) The Company of Heaven : Stories From Haiti. Iowa City: University Of Iowa Press (The Iowa Short Fiction Award). Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=334703&custid=s3443875 (Accessed: 13 July 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell 2010, The Company of Heaven : Stories From Haiti, The Iowa Short Fiction Award, University Of Iowa Press, Iowa City, viewed 13 July 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell. The Company of Heaven : Stories From Haiti. University Of Iowa Press, 2010. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=334703&custid=s3443875.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell. The Company of Heaven : Stories From Haiti. The Iowa Short Fiction Award. Iowa City: University Of Iowa Press, 2010. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=334703&custid=s3443875.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell. The Company of Heaven : Stories From Haiti [Internet]. Iowa City: University Of Iowa Press; 2010 [cited 2020 Jul 13]. (The Iowa Short Fiction Award). Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=334703&custid=s3443875

Reviews

PW Reviews 2010 August #5

Told rather than "written," Phipps-Kettlewell's tales are portraits of Haitian life. Since characters appear in multiple stories, and narrators rarely identify themselves, Haiti itself becomes a character. The prologue, a memory of childhood nights, evokes a sweep of sensation--cicadas and frogs, fireflies that resemble miniature angels, the touch of wood softened by vermin, the smell of the dark--that brings Haiti to vibrant life. Phipps-Kettlewell, whose previous book was verse, brings a poet's sensual acuity to her stories. "Dogs" tracks the descent into madness of a mother who has little time for her children, but fills her life and home with mongrel dogs. In "The Chapel," the building itself describes what has occurred within. The excellent novella, "River Valley Rooms," is a simple tale made complex by its formal daring; a collage of love and loss, it begins as a reminiscence of a homosexual brother but expands to depict complicated relationships with parents and lovers. Though Phipps-Kettlewell's lyrical, evocative, and lush style carries these stories, it can also create inertia; more attention to narrative would have made this truly a collection to treasure. (Oct.)

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