"After the 2010 Haiti earthquake kills her parents, a woman returns to Haiti after leaving it as a child, 25 years ago. A powerful and engrossing story, this read cannot be missed."
--Bustle, 35 Most Anticipated Fiction Books of 2018
"A captivating portrait of a woman plagued with worry about family and homeland, this beautifully written novel recalls Toni Morrison's Paradise."
"Powerful...As Ulysse explores grief, she moves beyond her protagonist to consider the murky motivations and emotions of other characters. This is a harrowing, thoughtful dive into the aftermath of national and personal tragedies filtered through diasporic life."
"Ulysse punctuates...descriptions of the lush Florestant plantation with insightful observations about strained family dynamics. The ties that bind can also constrict us."
"Katia D. Ulysse's relentless prose delves into the class divide made blatant in the wake of the earthquake while probing the boundaries of the struggles of being a multinational family in a time of crisis."
--World Literature Today
"A phenomenal writer."
--Edwidge Danticat, author of Claire of the Sea Light
"Ulysse is an intense writer, bringing her readers into the emotions of her characters...This a powerful story."
--Me, You, and Books
"With grace and elegance, Katia D. Ulysse explores the implications of privilege and inaction, of inadequacy and otherness, of trauma and emotional isolation, and the pervasive ways that turmoil and loss corrode the lives of the individuals involved. Mouths Don't Speak is a gem in the way it tackles difficult subjects and questions without answers."
--M.J. Fievre, author of A Sky the Color of Chaos
"Katia D. Ulysse is a writer of great power and passion, now delivering her most potent work to date. Mouths Don't Speak is a story of annihilation and redemption--of a more harrowing journey back from the abyss than anyone who has not read it could possibly imagine. There are those who believe that a book can be a repozwa, in which a spirit may dwell, as in a grotto, tree, or spring. If that is true, then the spirit living in this book must be a very great one."
--Madison Smartt Bell, author of Behind the Moon
"Mouths Don't Speak is an intimate look at the complexities of family separation and bonds, wisdom passed from one generation to the next, and haunting trauma. The 2010 earthquake that ravaged Haiti is seen through different lenses both on the island and across the water in the United States. In the fallout, Katia D. Ulysse weaves a beguiling tale of reverie and colonial imprint, new lives created out of painful pasts, and what it really means to call a place home."
--Morowa Yejide, author of Time of the Locust
No one was prepared for the massive earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, taking over a quarter-million lives, and leaving millions of others homeless. Three thousand miles away, Jacqueline Florestant mourns the presumed death of her parents, while her husband, a former US Marine and combat veteran, cares for their three-year-old daughter as he fights his own battles with acute PTSD.
Horrified and guilt-ridden, Jacqueline returns to Haiti in search of the proverbial "closure." Unfortunately, the Haiti she left as a child twenty-five years earlier has disappeared. Her quest turns into a tornado of deception, desperation, and more death. So Jacqueline holds tightly to her daughter--the only one who must not die.
About the Author
Katia D. Ulysse is a fiction writer, born in Haiti. Her short stories, essays, and Pushcart Prize-nominated poetry appear in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including: The Caribbean Writer, Smartish Pace, Phoebe, Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism; Mozayik, The Butterfly's Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States, and Haiti Noir, edited by Edwidge Danticat. She has taught in Baltimore public schools for thirteen years, and served as Goucher College's Spring 2017 Kratz Writer in Residence. Drifting, a collection of short stories, drew high praise from literary critics. She is currently at work on another short story collection. Mouths Don't Speak is her latest novel.