Press Release: “A Sky the Color of Chaos”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
A Sky the Color of Chaos Humanizes the Headlines of Haiti’s Violent 1990s.
Orlando, FL, September 12, 2015 – Beating Windward announces the publication of the memoir, A Sky the Color of Chaos by Haitian-American author M.J. Fievre. It is a 180-page memoir and will be published in December of 2015 (with limited copies available at the Miami Book Fair International).
A Sky the Color of Chaos chronicles M.J.’s childhood during the turbulent rise and fall of Haiti’s President-Priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide – a time of nightly shootings, home invasions, robberies, and the burning of former regime members in neighborhood streets. During the late 1980s and 90s, from when M.J. was eight-years-old to eighteen, Haiti’s government changed forms eight times; the Haitian people endured fraudulent elections, three military coups, a crippling embargo, and a United Nations occupation.
In A Sky the Color of Chaos the social and political upheaval merely serve as the background for the more personal drama playing out inside M.J.’s own home. Her brooding father rapidly oscillates between exuberant optimism and cynical pessimism. While loving and affectionate, he demands respect and often enforces his will with violence. She is simultaneously drawn to him and fearful of him. Needing a sense of security when outside the home, and having her father’s temperament, M.J. carries knives while still a school girl and bullies her schoolmates.
Her father’s hot-blooded nature and unpredictable moods amplify her fevered need to escape a homeland where random violence and bloodshed are commonplace. During puberty, her desires for love, security, and escape drive her into the arms of dangerous men. But through her schemes to leave Haiti, she discovers a life-saving interest in medicine and writing, both which help her gain a better understanding of her father and become an independent woman. The control M.J. eventually exercises on her emotions enables her to carve out a life away from home, and Haiti.
“It is an unsparing, honest, and unsentimental evocation of a young woman’s struggle for independence amidst the chaos and violence of a nation coming apart at its seams. M.J. Fievre takes us behind her family’s closed doors and beyond the security fences and the armed guards, the protests, the murders, and the nightly eruption of gunfire.”
— John Dufresne, author of No Regrets, Coyote
“A Sky the Color of Chaos is a brave and beautiful book from a prodigious talent. It is also a welcomed revelation of a very talented writer’s beginnings.”
— Edwidge Danticat, author of Brother, I’m Dying and Breath, Eyes, Memory, editor of Haiti Noir
“This is a haunting and violent story that runs counter to the more prevailing narrative of strong people elevating themselves above their humble origins. Fievre’s brutal and poignantly rendered Port-au-Prince origins had to be left behind, not risen above.”
— Johnny Temple, Editor of USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, M.J. Fievre published her first mystery novel, Le Feu de la Vengeance, at the age of sixteen. At nineteen, she signed her first book contract with Hachette-Deschamps, in Haiti, for the publication of a Young Adult book titled La Statuette Maléfique. Since then, M.J. has authored nine books in French. Two years ago, One Moore Book released M.J.’s children’s book, I Am Riding, written in three languages: English, French, and Haitian Creole. A Sky the Color of Chaos is her first book in English.
M.J. holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Barry University and an MFA from the Creative Writing program at Florida International University. She taught writing at Nova Middle School in Davie, FL, and is currently a professor at Miami Dade College.
Beating Windward Press is an independent publisher of novels, short story collections, and non-fiction. Based in Orlando, Florida, it produces 4 to 6 titles a year. Print books are distributed domestically and internationally through Ingram and Baker & Taylor; E-books are available at all e-book retailers and distributed in all e-reader formats through Smashwords.
Contact Matt Peters to obtain a review copy (in print or e-book), high-resolution cover/author image, or for more information. MattP@BeatingWindward.com