Everything Inside
From the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of Brother, I'm Dying, a collection of vividly imagined stories about community, family, and love.Rich with hard-won wisdom and humanity, set in locales from Miami and Port-au-Prince to a small unnamed country in the Caribbean and beyond, Everything Inside is at once wide in scope and intimate, as it explores the forces that pull us together, or drive us apart, sometimes in the same searing instant.In these eight powerful, emotionally absorbing stories, a romance unexpectedly sparks between two wounded friends; a marriage ends for what seem like noble reasons, but with irreparable consequences; a young woman holds on to an impossible dream even as she fights for her survival; two lovers reunite after unimaginable tragedy, both for their country and in their lives; a baby's christening brings three generations of a family to a precarious dance between old and new; a man falls to his death in slow motion, reliving the defining moments of the life he is about to lose.This is the indelible work of a keen observer of the human heart—a master at her best.

Everything Inside Details

TitleEverything Inside
Author
ReleaseAug 27th, 2019
PublisherKnopf Publishing Group
ISBN-139780525521273
Rating
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Contemporary, Short Story Collection

Everything Inside Review

  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    I just adore Danticat and her writing. She zeroes in on those torn between Haiti and their homes in the US. Families and death, scars inside or out, living with what they've seen in the past or experienced in the present when visiting Haiti. Things that have changed their lives, in big or small ways. Emotions they carry inside themselves. Eight stories and I loved them all. Some were more intense than others, but many seem to hinge on a decision that they either make on the spot or have made in I just adore Danticat and her writing. She zeroes in on those torn between Haiti and their homes in the US. Families and death, scars inside or out, living with what they've seen in the past or experienced in the present when visiting Haiti. Things that have changed their lives, in big or small ways. Emotions they carry inside themselves. Eight stories and I loved them all. Some were more intense than others, but many seem to hinge on a decision that they either make on the spot or have made in the past. The author has such an insight into families and of course into Haiti, its current political climate and its past. Her stories are always interesting and give one a glimpse into a cou try that many don't know about.ARC from Edelweiss.
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  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    I pick up an Edwidge Danticat book to dive deeply into quiet, painful emotions endured bravely and this latest collection delivers on that expectation marvelously. Loss and reconciliation haunt every page, and while not as gut-wrenching as, say, her memoir Brother, I'm Dying, the eight stories presented here all leave you wounded in the best possible way. Danticat's true genius is in the way she hold back information without it feeling like a gimmick. This technique is at its best in what is per I pick up an Edwidge Danticat book to dive deeply into quiet, painful emotions endured bravely and this latest collection delivers on that expectation marvelously. Loss and reconciliation haunt every page, and while not as gut-wrenching as, say, her memoir Brother, I'm Dying, the eight stories presented here all leave you wounded in the best possible way. Danticat's true genius is in the way she hold back information without it feeling like a gimmick. This technique is at its best in what is perhaps my favorite story in the whole collection, "The Gift," which recounts the tale of two former lovers reuniting in the wake of the tragic Haitian earthquake. I won't spoil it for you, but suffice it to say that the stakes shift dramatically throughout. The rest of the stories do a version of this as well. We meet ghosts and travel to unnamed islands seeped in personal and national tragedy; parents and children do their timeless dance of support and neglect; death plays a large role. In each instance, the core of the experience is buried, only to be elegantly unfolded after Danticat has acclimated the reader to the quotidian circumstances present in each story. It's in this way that with Everything Inside Danticat seems to be arguing that the most important moments aren't the marquee ones—the ones that we'll recount for years to come. Real life happens around those moments, and it's these quieter moments that we—and the characters throughout this collection—have to learn to inhabit and endure. Still, some of the stories seemed to keep their distance, which made it difficult for me to fully connect. At times, I wanted to see a little more vulnerability from the various protagonists and a little less stoicism in the face of unimaginable tragedy. A lot of these stories occupy the space of a recent tragedy, and that's always going to be a tough spot to write about. I'd liked to revisit these characters a few years down the line to see what they've learned in the interim and how they've changed. Overall, though, I greatly enjoyed this collection and can't wait to recommend it to all my friends. If you liked this, make sure to follow me on Goodreads for more reviews!
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  • BookOfCinz
    January 1, 1970
    Everything Inside is a strong collection of stories filled with complex characters, all dealing with major issues, trying to navigate life with Haiti being sometimes at the center of the narrative. I am such a fan of Danticat's writing, and I found myself being immersed in this collection and the lives of the people represented on the pages. With eight stories in the collection, it is hard to zone in on one that truly floored me, because every single one of these stories I rated either 4 or 5. Everything Inside is a strong collection of stories filled with complex characters, all dealing with major issues, trying to navigate life with Haiti being sometimes at the center of the narrative. I am such a fan of Danticat's writing, and I found myself being immersed in this collection and the lives of the people represented on the pages. With eight stories in the collection, it is hard to zone in on one that truly floored me, because every single one of these stories I rated either 4 or 5. Danticat knows Haiti and I know when I pick up her book, I will be longing for a place I have never visited. The stories explore immigration, family life, relationships, poverty, courage and shame. These stories are explored in a such a real way and vulnerable way. I particularly liked Dosas, The Port-Au-Prince Marriage Special, The Gift and Seven Stories These stories really moved me because of the topics explored and how complex the characters were. From the young privilege Haitian who wants move to Haiti and help change the country, to the mistress trying to rekindle her affair with her lover who lost his child and wife to the earthquake.... Truly an amazing collection of stories that will stick with you. Thanks Knopf for this ARC.
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  • Never Without a Book™
    January 1, 1970
    Writing in beautiful and elegant language, Edwidge Danticat’s new collection, Everything Inside, is an intimate and moving eight-story collection that centers on love, lost, struggles and the experiences of women. With each story Danticat presents characters and situations that will grip you into another facet of the lives, hopes, dreams, and realities of women in and from Haiti. Her perfect pacing and seamless narrative make each character’s destiny seem inevitable. I promise your heart won’t l Writing in beautiful and elegant language, Edwidge Danticat’s new collection, Everything Inside, is an intimate and moving eight-story collection that centers on love, lost, struggles and the experiences of women. With each story Danticat presents characters and situations that will grip you into another facet of the lives, hopes, dreams, and realities of women in and from Haiti. Her perfect pacing and seamless narrative make each character’s destiny seem inevitable. I promise your heart won’t leave this book untouched.My year of Danticat has truly been an amazing journey. With each book, story and character I was able to bear witness as she established herself as a brilliant storyteller. If you enjoyed Krik? Krak! you will love this collection. If you haven’t read Krik? Krak …add that to your TBR list. My favorite stories are: Without Inspection, Dosas, The Port-au-Prince Special & The Gift
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  • Vanya
    January 1, 1970
    Short stories and I have never found the best footing in our relationship mostly because of my own discomfort with the genre. I have often wondered why that is. The answer that has surfaced from my hazy consciousness has always been the same - my supposed inadequacy at grasping narratives that leave a lot to the reader’s imagination, that skip past details to arrive at the crux, and that end too soon for me to enjoy an immersive experience. Despite these failings (all mine), I set out to challen Short stories and I have never found the best footing in our relationship mostly because of my own discomfort with the genre. I have often wondered why that is. The answer that has surfaced from my hazy consciousness has always been the same - my supposed inadequacy at grasping narratives that leave a lot to the reader’s imagination, that skip past details to arrive at the crux, and that end too soon for me to enjoy an immersive experience. Despite these failings (all mine), I set out to challenge my own notions every once in a while. I recently read Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat, a collection of short stories that evoke the experience of Haitian diaspora in Miami. Occasionally, we are taken to Port-au-Prince where we meet characters fighting the charms of a propitious future in the States with the nostalgic love for home and one’s own community. Danticat portrays a wide spectrum of emotions, ranging from love to longing to helplessness to hope. These stories try to articulate the experience of feeling untethered from your country without being able to shake off a profound yearning to belong somewhere wholly. My favourite stories from the collection are “The Port-au-Prince Special” and “Without Inspection”. The former is about a young woman who harbours impossible dreams even in the face of death. Even though the possibility of survival becomes faint with every passing moment, she holds on to her dreams as if her very existence depends on this act of unflinching optimism. The latter story goes inside the mind of a man as he falls off from a building. In the brief moment before he dies, his mind flits through countless memories to present him with the ones that defined his life. These ‘flashes of epiphanies’ (taking a cue from Virginia Woolf) are heart-rending as the reader glimpses a life that will be no more.
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  • Edna Desir
    January 1, 1970
    I first started reading Edwidge Danticat's short stories in The New Yorker magazine in 1999. The stories in this gorgeous collection are poignant, lyrical, and some heartbreaking. Everything you expect from Danticat with the added nuance of age. Stunningly beautiful stories. Each one took my breath away.
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  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    January 1, 1970
    Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat is a very highly recommended collection of eight short stories. All of the characters are either Haitian or have ties to Haiti and are set in locales from Miami and Port-au-Prince to a small unnamed Caribbean country.Danicat is a natural, lyrical story teller and the writing in Everything Inside is beautiful. The complicated lives of people and their emotional upheavals, tragic events, and unexpected occurrences are keenly observed. Her characters handle the Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat is a very highly recommended collection of eight short stories. All of the characters are either Haitian or have ties to Haiti and are set in locales from Miami and Port-au-Prince to a small unnamed Caribbean country.Danicat is a natural, lyrical story teller and the writing in Everything Inside is beautiful. The complicated lives of people and their emotional upheavals, tragic events, and unexpected occurrences are keenly observed. Her characters handle their circumstances and loss with the fortitude and stoicism of careful observers. Many of these characters are people who live in one place but are drawn elsewhere. This is a very special, thoughtful collection.Contents include:Dosas: Elsie is a home healthcare nursing assistant. She is divorced from Blase who left her for her best friend Olivia. Blase calls her one day, claiming Olivia was kidnapped when back visiting Haiti, and now the kidnappers are demanding a ransom.In the Old Days: A woman flies from New York to Miami to meet her dying father. She was born after he left and raised by her mother, so this trip will be the first time she meets him.The Port-au-Prince Marriage Special: A couple who runs a hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, take the young woman who is their son's nanny to the doctor. When she is diagnosed with SIDA, AIDS, they find and pay for her treatment, but their help has unexpected results.The Gift: Anika and Thomas are former lovers who meet in Miami. The two were having an affair before an earthquake killed his wife and child and left him with an amputated leg. Anika has a gift she wants to give him.Hot Air Balloons: Lucy and Neah are roommates at college in Miami and grew up with very different backgrounds. When Neah drops out to do international aid work for a Haitian women's organization that she learned about through Lucy, Neah's father blames Lucy for this and asks that she talk to his daughter.Sunrise, Sunset: Carol is an aging woman who is suffering from dementia, which her husband helps her hide, but her condition is becoming worse and frightening her daughter, Jeanne. This all results in a frightening event which occurs at the christening for Jeanne's son. Seven Stories: Two childhood friends meet again as adults in an unnamed Caribbean country where one of them is now the wife of the prime minister.Without Inspection: An undocumented construction worker is falling to his death and is flashing back through his memories and the defining moments of his life.Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Knopf Doubleday.http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2019/0...
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  • Karima
    January 1, 1970
    I have read all of Danticat's book (most memorable being KRIK KRAK and CLAIRE OF THE SEA LIGHT) and been very moved by all, except this one. It has all the same themes: displacement, love, loss, extreme poverty, betrayal, diaspora, political persecution, all told in her uncluttered, cutting-to-the-bone style. But....but, the characters didn't move me, didn't get under my skin, as in her other books. I struggle with giving this acclaimed writer only three stars, instead of the full-force of a fiv I have read all of Danticat's book (most memorable being KRIK KRAK and CLAIRE OF THE SEA LIGHT) and been very moved by all, except this one. It has all the same themes: displacement, love, loss, extreme poverty, betrayal, diaspora, political persecution, all told in her uncluttered, cutting-to-the-bone style. But....but, the characters didn't move me, didn't get under my skin, as in her other books. I struggle with giving this acclaimed writer only three stars, instead of the full-force of a five but so be it. I must take responsibility for my own frame-of-mind. Perhaps I am over-the-top-disgusted with man's inhumanity to man and this was more of the same.Still, I recommend it. Help change my opinion.
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    I have always loved Edwidge Danticat's books, and this one is one of the best. In her beautiful language, she explores what it means to have a homeland, and what happens when you feel you can no longer live in your homeland. The stories tackled tough topics of poverty, natural disasters and loss, but all had a spark of hope in them.Thank you to Edelweiss and Knopf for the review copy.
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  • Tara Betts
    January 1, 1970
    My review of this book appeared online in Newcity's Lit Section on August 26, 2019.
  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Each of the eight stories in EVERYTHING INSIDE could be its own novel. They are rich and complex with characters you immediately connect with even if their situations are different from your own. The humanity with which Danticat writes is what draws you in and absorbs you into these lives much farther beyond the few pages of their stories.
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  • Yvonne
    January 1, 1970
    you can read my review soon in the Brooklyn Rail.
  • Cameron
    January 1, 1970
    A collection of frank and tender stories about the lives of Haitians and Haitian-Americans. These stories compellingly examine life’s pain without ever feeling overwrought or predictable.
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