Mischa Berlinski is the author of Fieldwork: A Novel. He lived in Haiti between 2007 and 2011. (June 2013)

Haiti: The Compromising Reality

A boy sleeping in a pile of plastic bottles at the Truitier landfill, Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, April 2011
Amy Wilentz knows Haiti very well. She has a quarter-century of experience with the country. She speaks excellent French and Creole. She understands Haitian history intimately. She has the patience to sit with Haitians for hours, and the empathy to listen as her Haitian informants talk. She is marvelously observant …

A Farewell to Haiti

Boys watching a soccer game in Delmas, Haiti, 2010; photograph by Wyatt Gallery from his book <i>Tent Life: Haiti</i>, which collects his portraits of Haitians after the earthquake and includes an essay by Edwidge Danticat. It was published by Umbrage Editions last year.
I came to Haiti in the spring of 2007 when my wife found a job with the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission there. She was assigned to the southern seaside town of Jérémie, a place where donkeys outnumbered cars on the streets. Jérémie was just 125 miles or so from Port-au-Prince, …

Port-au-Prince: The Moment

Survivors of the Haiti earthquake on Grand Rue, the main street in Port-au-Prince, January 18, 2010
My chair was on casters and began to roll. A large earthquake starts as a small earthquake. I saved my novel: Control+S. The horizon swayed at an angle. I had time to think many things—that’s how long the quake lasted. I thought that I should stand under the lintel of …