Best Nightmare on Earth: A Life in Haiti

Herbert Gold, Author, Jan Morris, Designed by
Herbert Gold, Author, Jan Morris, Designed by Prentice Hall $19.95 (303p) ISBN 978-0-13-372327-4
Paperback - 978-0-671-75516-4
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Gold ( Fathers ) first visited Haiti in 1953 and has returned many times since to ``my favorite place in the whole wide world.'' The nightmare aspect referred to in the title includes the burning of a suspected werewolf in Port-au-Prince and Gold's frightening confrontation with the roving henchmen called tonton macoutes. He lived in Haiti for periods during the Duvalier regimes, of both p ere and fils , and was at one point banned from the country for his reporting. Later, after political violence and the AIDS panic threatened the tourist trade, he was invited to serve as Haitian consul in San Francisco. He declined. Gold's remarks about the vagaries of Haitian politics, corruption and racism are acute and enlightening, but what sticks in the mind is his tender affection for the people and culture of a country ``poor in all resources but the energies of imagination.'' Among other things, Gold's impressionistic memoir reveals what it's like to be a blanc who feels completely at home in a black society. (Feb.)
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