June 12, 2024
Annapolis, US 73 F

Maryland Humanities Selects ‘What Storm, What Thunder’ by Myriam J.A. Chancy for 2024 One Maryland One Book Program

Maryland Humanities has announced “What Storm, What Thunder” by Haitian-Canadian-American author Myriam J.A. Chancy as its choice for the 2024 One Maryland One Book program. Now in its seventeenth year, the statewide reading and discussion initiative continues to foster a sense of community through shared literary experiences.

The novel, set against the backdrop of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, delves into the lives of a diverse group of characters, including an NGO architect, a water-bottling executive, and a drug trafficker. Chancy’s narrative weaves through their experiences before, during, and after the earthquake, capturing the sudden upheaval of lives and certainties.

“Myriam J.A. Chancy’s work has been widely recognized, with ‘What Storm, What Thunder’ making it to the shortlist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize and the longlist for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature,” the announcement stated. Chancy, who also authored “The Loneliness of Angels” and the upcoming novel “Village Weavers,” draws from a rich literary background.

This summer, Maryland Humanities will reveal the details of the author’s tour and a calendar of free public events associated with the program. The selection of Chancy’s book came after a thorough process involving a committee of eighteen Maryland residents. These individuals, ranging from teachers and librarians to booksellers and community workers, chose from nearly 250 titles submitted under the theme “Restorative Futures.”

Discussing her novel’s title, Chancy says it partially draws from Frederick Douglass’ epigraph, highlighting the need for significant change rather than disaster. “Douglass was not calling for disaster but for seismic change in America’s social order,” Chancy remarks, drawing parallels between Douglass’s call for change in America and the need for transformation in Haiti.

Lindsey Baker, CEO of Maryland Humanities, expressed enthusiasm for this year’s theme, “Restorative Futures,” and its relevance. “I’m looking forward to seeing what resonates with Marylanders about ‘What Storm, What Thunder’ and the amazing programming our partners will come up with,” Baker said.

The One Maryland One Book program, known for its impact in connecting communities through literature, looks set to continue this tradition with Chancy’s thought-provoking novel. For more information about the program and upcoming events, visit Maryland Humanities’ website.

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