Chronicling the journey of writing

by Veronica Louis

Journal d’un ecrivain en pyjama

Book cover: Mance Lanctôt

For my B-Day, this past January, a very close friend of mind gave me Dany Laferrière’s book: The World is Moving Around Me. Beautifully translated by David Homel from the French original Tout bouge autour de moi, the book was about Haiti’s 2010 earthquake recounted by the Haitian author and poet, Dany Laferrière.

I delved quickly into the book, soaking it up as if I was a literature-deprived sponge. The World is Moving Around Me is divided into a number of written snapshots of the earthquake aftermath focused through the eyes of a poet who paints a drab photo with just the right tone and hue of words. Take this passage of the book for example…


A 7.3 magnitude earthquake is not so bad. You still have a chance. Concrete was the killer. The population had joined in an orgy of concrete over the last fifty years. Little fortresses. The wood and sheet-metal houses, more flexible, stood the test. In narrow hotel rooms, the TV set was the enemy. People sit facing it. It came right down on them. Many got hit in the head. (more…)

An article by Veronica Louis for

Photo: C. Beauregard

Photo: C. Beauregard

In 2010, we couldn’t turn on the radio or pick up the paper without hearing about Dany Laferrière’s L’Énigme du retour (The Return). The Prix Médicis-winning novel is the fascinating first-hand account of the author’s return to Haiti after 33 years in exile. This past January also saw the release of The World is Moving Around Me, the English translation of his heart-wrenching Tout bouge autour de moi. The book, a lyrical description of the moments, hours and days following Haiti’s terrible 7.3 magnitude earthquake in 2010, is nothing short of remarkable. (more…)