Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2017


The opening lines of Yanick Lahens’s Bain de lune (2014) find an unidentified narrator lying on a beach not far from the coastal community of Anse Bleue, staring at the worn, muddy boots of the man who has just discovered her lifeless body. As her narrative reveals, a hurricane has devastated the region over the past three days, and, in the wake of the storm, the deceased protagonist tries to piece together the fragmented memories of her life as a means of determining how she has ended up dead on the sand. From the very beginning of Lahens’s novel, however, the protagonist’s search for answers—a search to “remonter toute la chaîne de mon existence pour comprendre une fois pour toutes”—is inseparable from the history, evolution, and, indeed, future of the natural environment around her: “Quel ouragan! Quel tumulte! Dans toute cette histoire, il faudra tenir compte du vent, du sel, de l’eau, et pas seulement des hommes et des femmes. Le sable a été tourné et retourné dans le plus grand désordre. On dirait une terre attendant d’être ensemencée.”

Copyright Statement

This document was originally published in The Journal of Haitian Studies on behalf of the Haitian Studies Association by The Center for Black Studies Research at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Copyright restrictions may apply.