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A Promise in Haiti: A Reporter's Notes on Families and Daily Lives Hardcover – July 22, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press (July 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826517838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826517838
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,374,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A truly useful and thoughtful 'life-on-the-streets' view of life in Haiti both pre and post the apocalypitc events of 2010."
--People In Aid

Named a 2011 ForeWord Reviews Silver Book of the Year

"That the book's description of conditions in Haiti will elicit expressions of concern, perhaps outrage, from readers, is certain. More heartening is the prospect, even if slender, of material change that a future visitor, retracing Curnutte's steps fifty years from now, may be able to detect."
--Foreword

"Beautifully written, and very moving"
--Miller-McCune

"Despite Haiti's history of natural disasters and ongoing economic and political problems, Curnutte highlights the strength and resiliency of these families, paying particular attention to their faith and religion. ... The author's reflections on his internal struggles as a privileged American journalist in Haiti are honest, sincere, and refreshing."
--Library Journal

"Mark Curnutte is the conscience of Cincinnati. As a newspaper reporter, he can be found in prisons with immigrants facing deportation, among the homeless in shelters and the hungry in food pantries, and in the houses of mothers with sons on death row or those of still others who've lost sons to street violence. He doesn't let readers forget the forgotten. A Promise in Haiti finds Curnutte in the city of Gonaives, where he has lived among three poor families in this hemisphere's poorest country. What emerges is a tender written and photographic portrait of daily life, absent of material trappings but rich in faith. Curnutte documents in gritty detail the resilience that allows people to move forward -- dignity intact -- in the face of crippling poverty that's complicated further by natural disasters and epidemics. And like his literary hero James Agee, Curnutte reveals the great commonalities of human life despite surface differences of race, nationality and social class."
--Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ

From the Inside Flap

Understanding Haiti, up close and personal

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dmc531 on June 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This was such an incredible book. I never knew what tragedy Haiti faced prior to the earthquake in 2010. This author details family life in Haiti before the earthquake. In the beginning you are aware of how different life in America is compared to Haiti. However this book opened my eyes to how the opposite is true. The pictures are beautiful. I couldn't take my eyes off the one of Fritz, a father of one of the 3 families. Wow! So strong but yet so vulnerable. This is a great read for school students, history buffs, Oprah, or anyone interested in the human family.
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By Susy Flory on August 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Mark Curnutte's book, A Promise in Haiti, grabbed me. I'm currently involved in a book project revolving around Haiti and my desk is stacked with books on Haiti--nonfiction, novels, travel books, and even children's. Out of that stack, Curnutte's story is the one that touched my heart by introducing me to three amazing families struggling to make a happy and satisfying life for themselves in the poorest country in the world. Mark is a reporter for the Cincinatti Enquirer newspaper, and not only did I find his detailed reporting to be excellent, but I was touched by his soul searching as he responds to the people he meets, the poverty he's overwhelmed by, and his own spiritual journey that comes out of his visits. I wanted to cry along with him as he realizes some of the families he meets eat just one meal a day, and often skip a day or two during the week when they can't even get enough food for that one meal. I found myself slowing down as I read to soak in every sentence. I truly felt I was there alongside the author falling in love with these brave and resilient people in a chaotic and often hopeless place. I loved this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Author Mark Curnutte walks the reader through the streets of Gonaives. With each step he describes what he sees along the way; capturing the "Mwen grangou"(I `m hungry) in the people. What made Curnutte so relatable is reading about his own faith. What captured my heart was how he struggled to get back to the families of Haiti he had come to know and love. It was not in God's plan. Curnutte gives the reader access into Haitian families like no other I have read to date. He has shared with us the families uneasiness, given us facts, shared with us pictures and written a story that has opened up my eyes and made those thousands of miles between front doors seem less far apart.

God gave you grace Mark Curnutte. In God's time and in the gift you have given in the promise you kept. Thank you!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A beautiful, yet often difficult, sharing of the author's post-earthquake visit to Haiti. You share the dismay over the tremendous obstacles to recovery and the enduring hardships faced by the people there. Their incredible courage and endurance in the face of apparently insurmountable tragedy is as inspiring as the need for it is depressing. By telling the stories of individuals he met there, Mark Curnutte makes the aftermath of the disaster, and the people it affects, real and personal.
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More About the Author

Mark Curnutte's "A Promise in Haiti: A Reporter's Notes on Families and Daily Lives," is a Silver Level winner in ForeWord Reviews' Book of the Year Awards 2011 in the social sciences category. Curnutte, social justice and minority affairs reporter with the Cincinnati Enquirer, returned to Haiti for a fifth time in July 2013 on a Ford Foundation social justice reporting grant through the International Center for Journalists, Washington, D.C. He revisited the three families in his book and investigated at close range two examples of contemporary slavery: restavek child domestic servants in Haiti and the living and working conditions for undocumented Haitian cane cutters in the neighboring Dominican Republic and plight of their stateless children.

The newspaper's former NFL writer, Curnutte's newspaper work takes him to shelters, talking with homeless families or teens; federal detention centers, interviewing undocumented immigrants; or the homes of families with sons on death row. His desire to listen to the marginalized has taken him several times to Haiti, where in Gonaives he established a working relationship with three impoverished families. The result is "A Promise in Haiti"(2011), Vanderbilt University Press. It includes 55 photographs by the author, patterned after the work of Walker Evans in "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men." An Illinois native and 29-year newspaper reporter and editor, Curnutte previously worked at the "News & Observer" in Raleigh, N.C. He is a 1984 graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

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A Promise in Haiti: A Reporter's Notes on Families and Daily Lives
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