Myriam J. A. Chancy at Harvard Book Store


Village Weavers: A Novel

in conversation with DANIELLE LEGROS GEORGES


April 12, 2024
7:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes MYRIAM J.A. CHANCY—award-winning author of What Storm, What Thunder and The Loneliness of Angels—for a discussion of her new novel Village Weavers. She will be joined in conversation by DANIELLE LEGROS GEORGES—Boston's Poet Laureate from 2014-2019.

About Village Weavers

From award-winning author Myriam J. A. Chancy comes an extraordinary and enduring story of two families—forever joined by country, and by long-held secrets—and two girls with a bond that refuses to be broken. In 1940s’ Port-au-Prince, Gertie and Sisi become fast childhood friends, despite being on opposite ends of the social and economic ladder. As young girls, they build their unlikely friendship—until a deathbed revelation ripples through their families and tears them apart. After François Duvalier’s rule turns deadly in the 1950s, Sisi moves to Paris, while Gertie marries into a wealthy Dominican family. Across decades and continents, through personal success and failures, they are parted and reunited, slowly learning the truth of their singular relationship. Finally, six decades later, with both women in the United States, a sudden phone call brings them back together once more to reckon with and—perhaps—forgive the past.

Told with power and frankness, Village Weavers confronts the silences around class, race, and nationality, charts the moments when lives are irrevocably forced apart, and envisions two girls—connected their entire lives—who try to break inherited cycles of mistrust and find ways back into each other’s hearts.

Praise for Village Weavers

"Myriam J. A. Chancy follows up her illustrious novel, What Storm, What Thunder, with a story about two families caught between the histories that bind them. With Village Weavers, Chancy becomes a cartographer of the human experience as she navigates issues of race, colonialism, diaspora, and the ways we must redefine ourselves later in our lives. It is a testament to the capacity of the human heart, one that is capable of loving, of yearning and rage, and of living. Chancy pays homage to those estranged and passed as she brilliantly maps out a journey of reclamation. This is a defining work of impressive accomplishment. In the same way Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John or Toni Morrison’s Sula announced before it, Chancy teaches us that it is never too late to reconnect with those we care about, to remember the power of love." —Xavier Navarro Aquino, author of Velorio

"Myriam J.A. Chancy's Village Weavers is a mesmerizing tale of two young girls, Gertie and Sisi, whose tender relationship is fractured by powerful forces around them—much like Hispaniola, the island they are from. As the young girls become women, we witness Chancy's radiant ability to wrestle with history, class, colorism, and racism, while telling a story that is deeply rooted in love. What the novel ultimately reaches toward, both on a personal and political level, is profoundly moving." —Cleyvis Natera, author of Neruda on the Park

"A deeply reflective book about the resilience of the relationship between two women, which evolves from an innocent childhood friendship to a spiritual kinship that transcends the biology of blood relation. Village Weavers is a loving portrait of sisterhood, carefully and skillfully woven. A pleasure to read. A deeply reflective book about the resilience of the relationship between two women, which evolves from an innocent childhood friendship to a spiritual kinship that transcends the biology of blood relation. Village Weavers is a loving portrait of sisterhood, carefully and skillfully woven. A pleasure to read." —Cherie Jones, author of How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Danielle Legros Georges
Danielle Legros Georges

Danielle Legros Georges

Danielle Legros Georges is a poet, translator, and editor whose work has been supported by fellowships and grants from organizations including the American Antiquarian Society, the PEN/Heim Translation Fund, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Boston Foundation, and the Black Metropolis Research Consortium. Appointed Boston’s Poet Laureate in 2014, she served in the role through 2019. Her books of poetry include Maroon; The Dear Remote Nearness of You; and Island Heart, translations of the poems of 20th-century Haitian-French poet Ida Faubert. She is editor, with Artress Bethany White, of the anthology Wheatley at 250: Black Women Poets Re-imagine the Verse of Phillis Wheatley Peters

Myriam J.A. Chancy
Myriam J.A. Chancy

Myriam J.A. Chancy

Myriam J. A. Chancy is the author of What Storm, What Thunder, named a "Best Book of 2021," by NPR, Kirkus, Library Journal, the Boston Globe, Globe & Mail, shortlisted for the Caliba Golden Poppy Award & Aspen Words Literary Prize, longlisted for Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize & the OCM Bocas Prize, and awarded an ABA from the Before Columbus Foundation. Her past novels include: The Loneliness of Angels, winner of the 2011 Guyana Prize in Literature Caribbean Award, Best Fiction 2010; The Scorpion’s Claw and Spirit of Haiti, shortlisted in the Best First Book Category, Canada/Caribbean region of the Commonwealth Prize, 2004. She is also the author of several academic monographs, including Harvesting Haiti: Reflections on Unnatural Disasters and Framing Silence: Revolutionary Novels by Haitian Women. Her recent writings have appeared in Journal, Electric Literature, and Guernica. She is a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and HBA Chair of the Humanities at Scripps College in California.

Photo Credit: N. Affonso

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