Historical Context

(Literature of Developing Nations for Students)

Literary Heritage
Haiti is a country long marked by its political unrest and economic depravity as a result of years...

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Literary Style

(Literature of Developing Nations for Students)

Danticat's story begins slowly, told with a languid, measured pace, set in a traditional agrarian society, and...

(The entire section is 650 words.)

Bibliography and Further Reading

(Literature of Developing Nations for Students)

Adlerberg, Scott. ‘‘The Farming of Bones,’’ in Richmond Review (online), 2000.


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(Literary Essentials: African American Literature)

Hewett, Heather. “At the Crossroads: Disability and Trauma in The Farming of Bones.” MELUS 31, no. 3 (Fall, 2006): 123-145. Examines Danticat’s use of symbols with respect to the mythology of voodoo and the themes of disability, death, and healing.

Hicks, Albert C. Blood in the Streets: The Life and Rule of Trujillo. New York: Creative Age Press, 1946. An American journalist’s contemporary account of the 1937 massacre of twenty thousand Haitians in the Dominican Republic. Danticat calls this the most powerful book that her research uncovered.

Lyons, Bonnie. “Edwidge Danticat.” Contemporary Literature 44, no. 2 (Summer, 2003): 183-198. Offers a brief history of Danticat’s life in Haiti and the United States, as well as background for the continuing tensions of the novel.

Shemak, April. “Re-membering Hispaniola: Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones.Modern Fiction Studies 48, no. 1 (Spring, 2002): 83-112. Particularly fine, wide-ranging discussion of how the continued mutilation of Haitian bodies symbolizes the repressive nature of Dominican nationalism.

Trescott, Jacqueline. “Edwidge Danticat: Personal History.” The Washington Post, October 11, 1999, p. C2. Excellent short article exploring Danticat’s life and the culture that motivated her.

Wucker, Michele. Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola. New York: Hill and Wang, 1999. Colorful study of social and racial relationships between the two nations, including a chapter on the 1937 massacre and a helpful glossary of Haitian and Dominican terms.

Topics for Further Study

(Literature of Developing Nations for Students)

  • Research the 1937 massacre of Haitians by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo and compare it to more recent ethnic genocides in Rwanda and...

(The entire section is 115 words.)

What Do I Read Next?

(Literature of Developing Nations for Students)

  • Danticat's Krik? Krak! is a collection of short stories set in Haiti. The title comes from a traditional Haitian custom of...

(The entire section is 122 words.)