Books: Katia D. Ulysse's "Drifting"

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Drifting is an intoxicating account of various short stories by Haitian novelist and literary genius Katia D. Ulysse.

In her debut work of fiction, Ulysse explores the lives of various Haitian families as they drift from personal hardships caused by a miscarriage, the loss of a loved one, and other mishaps to hardships caused by the earthquake in Haiti.

Despite the fact that Ulysse’s debut book is classified as a work of fiction, the characters, plots, and themes in Drifting are not simply imaginary and theoretical, but more so a sub-genre of fiction serving as a brilliant transverse between realistic and historical fiction.

In reading Drifting, the global Haitian community will immediately identify with the characters, plots, and themes.  The characters in Drifting move successively from not only time and space, but from fantasy to reality.

As such, in their successions, they encounter numerous misfortunes as well as triumphs despite the uncertainties of their peregrinations.

However, in their drifting, they find not only their progenitor, but themselves by way of artificially produced calamities and natural disasters. Thus, no matter how far one drifts, one will always find himself or herself back home to an ethereal world created within the solace of one’s mind and heart despite misfortune, pain, and suffering.

In life, no matter how far you drift and where you land, your roots are firmly planted – thus, inseparable from you while you are being carried along aimlessly by the harsh realities of life.

Moreover, as you drift, your historical imprints and cultural presence are ubiquitous and deep-rooted to the point that you cannot drift from your roots because your roots are not only always traveling with you, but are embedded in you.

In Ulysse’s magnificent literary prose along with her skillful incorporation of literary realism, she takes the reader into a philosophical journey of discerning 'who am I?'; 'how do I know what I know?'; and 'what are my values?', which ultimately validates a system analysis of the various themes throughout her book and in reality, throughout one’s life.

Therefore, as you read the highly recommended Drifting, it is my hope that you will learn a lot about Haiti and the struggles and triumphs of Haitian people. To that same degree, it is also my hope that you will learn a lot about yourself despite how far the harshness of life drifts you away to only bring you back home to your roots.

 

Professor Patrick Delices is a political analyst/commentator for the Black Star News and the author of “The Digital Economy,” Journal of International Affairs. For nearly a decade, Prof. Delices has taught Africana Studies at Hunter College. He also served as a research fellow for the late Pulitzer Prize recipient, Dr. Manning Marable at Columbia University. Prof. Delices can be contacted at pd149@columbia.edu

 

 

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