Blue: A Novel by Emmelie Prophète
An award-winning Haitian novel about silence, beauty, and the solidarity of tears.
Airports are distillations of the world. I like thinking of them that way. The hope of leaving and the desire to come home, existing side by side. Any voyage is possible. My mind flies off toward the blue province once again. I don’t know, anymore, why I always associate it with blue. It isn’t even my favorite color.
Traveling alone from Miami to Port-au-Prince, our narrator finds comfort at the airport. She feels free to ponder the silence that surrounds her homeland, her mother, her aunts, and her own inner thoughts. Between two places, she sees how living in poverty keeps women silent, forging their identities around practicality and resilience. From a distance, she is drawn inevitably homeward toward her family and the glittering blue Caribbean Sea.
Blue comes alive through vivid images crowding the page, just as memories do in real life, as if the author is trying to sort through them, to come to grips with her own emotional conflict. Balancing the pain and anger are spiritual bonds that connect the author to the women who have come before her, who have created her, and with Haiti itself, her motherland. No amount of glittering opportunity up north can prevent her from finding her way home.