Myriam J. A. Chancy is a Guggenheim Fellow and HBA Chair of the Humanities at Scripps College. Her academic publications include: From Sugar to Revolution: Women’s Visions from Haiti, Cuba & The Dominican Republic (WUP 2012), Framing Silence: Revolutionary Novels by Haitian Women (Rutgers 1997), and Searching for Safe Spaces: Afro-Caribbean Women Writers in Exile (Temple 1997; Choice OAB Award, 1998). Her novels include, What Storm, What Thunder, a novel on the 2010 Haiti earthquake (Harper Collins Canada/Tin House USA 2021) which has been named a Best Book of Fall 2021 by Time, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, The Chicago Tribune, Vulture, Good Housekeeping, LitHub and Harper’s Bazaar among other accolades. Her past novels include: The Loneliness of Angels winner of the 2011 Guyana Prize in Literature Caribbean Award, for Best Fiction 2010; The Scorpion’s Claw; and Spirit of Haiti shortlisted in the Best First Book Category, Canada/Caribbean region of the Commonwealth Prize, 2004. Recent writings have appeared in Whetstone.com Journal, Electric Literature, Guernica and Room Magazine. A frequently invited guest speaker, delivering talks and creative readings on the subject of Caribbean, Haitian and social justice issues, she has served as an expert panelist and reviewer for the John S. Guggenheim Foundation, NEH, the Prince Claus Fund, as well as numerous professional journals, university presses and tenure/promotion reviews nationally.
Ph.D. in English Literature, University of Iowa, 1994. Dissertation: “In Search of Safe Spaces: Afro-Caribbean Women Writers in Exile”
M.A. in English Literature, Dalhousie University, Canada, 1990. Thesis: “James Baldwin and the Dissolution of the Color Line”
B.A., with honors (Four-Year Advanced) in English Literature, Minor of Arts in Philosophy, University of Manitoba, Canada, 1989.
English Lit./African Diaspora with specialization in: Caribbean Women's Literature (with specialization in Anglophone Caribbean and Haitian women's literature); Caribbean Literature 20th C. to Present; African American Lit. (Harlem Renaissance to Present). Theory: Postcolonial; Transnational/Feminist Theory. Creative Writing: Fiction.
Photography; film; pottery; food culture
- Core 3 (Scripps): Caribbean Women Writers; Postcolonial Anxieties
- James Baldwin Seminar (Africana/English)
- Women Writing/Memoir (Writing Program)
- Caribbean Literature & Postcolonial Theory (English/Humanities)
- Foundations in Postcolonial Theory (Humanities Program)
- Transnational Feminist Theory (CGU)
Selected Research and Publications
Harvesting Haiti: Unnatural Disasters (Essays) - Essays on post-earthquake Haiti 2011-2022, Forthcoming Fall 2023, University of Texas Press.
What Storm, What Thunder – A novel on post-earthquake Haiti, HarperCollins Canada/Tin House USA, Fall 2021; Paperback published by Tin House, August 23/22.
- 2022 American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation
- Starred Reviews: Library Journal, Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly
- Shortlisted for the Caliba Golden Poppy Award, Aspen Words Literary Prize, and longlisted for Brooklyn Public Library Prize & the OCM Bocas Prize.
- Named a "Best Book of 2021" by NPR, Kirkus, the Chicago Public Library, New York Public Library, Library Journal, Boston Globe, Amazon Books & Canada's Globe & Mail
- Named one of 10 Noteworthy Southern California Authors for 2021 by Southern California News Group (SCNG), January 30, 2021.
- People Magazine Best Book of the Week, October 18, 2021
- NPR Book of the Day, October 11, 2021
- Book of the Month Club Add-on Pick for October 2021
- Indie Next Pick for October 2021
- An Amazon Books Top 10 Pick for October 2021
- Named a “most anticipated” book of Fall 2021 by AARP, TIME, Vulture, Good Housekeeping, Library Journal, She Reads, Hey Alma, Boston.com, Buzzfeed, The Washington Post, Thrillist, LitHub, The Chicago Tribune & Dandelion Chandelier
- Harvard Bookstore, Book Passage & Odyssey Bookstore First Editions Club Selection, Fall 2021
Autochthonomies: Transnationalism, Testimony and Transmission in the African Diaspora. (Guggenheim supported project). University Press of Illinois: March 2020.
From Sugar to Revolution: Women’s Visions of Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic (Academic) Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2012.
The Loneliness of Angels (A Novel) Leeds, England: Peepal Tree Press, 2010.
The Scorpion’s Claw (A Novel) Leeds, England: Peepal Tree Press, 2005.
Spirit of Haiti. (A Novel) London, England: Mango Press, 2003.
Searching for Safe Spaces: Afro-Caribbean Women Writers in Exile. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1997.
Framing Silence: Revolutionary Novels by Haitian Women. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1997.
Englenes Ensomhed. (Translation of Loneliness of Angels) Tr. Iben H. Philipsen. Copenhagen, Denmark: Rebel With A Cause Press, March 2019.
Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism [Indiana UP & Smith College], Vol. 3, no. 2, 2003; Vol. 4, no. 1 & 2, 2004; Vol. 5, no. 1, 2005 [Acquisitions, Vol. 5, no. 2, 2005]
New Creative Writing
“Loko (aka Loco, aka, the Rainwater Man),” (new fiction) Room Magazine 45.2, Summer/Fall 2022.
“Departures,” Guernica Magazine, November 3, 2021.
“What Storm, What Thunder,” (excerpt from novel, WS, WT), Lit Hub, October 18, 2021.
“Myriam J. A. Chancy on Haiti’s Uncertain Future and What We Must Learn from It,” OprahDaily.com, October 14, 2021.
“9 Books About Love, Loss and Belonging Set in the Caribbean,” Electric Literature, October 4, 2021.
“Long-Distance Haitian Cooking,” www.whetstonemagazine.com/journal October 4, 2021.
“Haiti Deserves Careful Attention. An Author Recommends 4 Books to Help,” NPR: World. August 23, 2021.
(Solicited Essay) – "I Might Lose All My Life": Brother, I’m Dying and (Black) Immigration Discourse in the United States. Eds. Jana Braziel & Nadège Clitandre. Bloomsbury Companion to Edwidge Danticat. Forthcoming, 2020.
(Solicited Essay) - "Phantom Limbs: Kinship, Racial Performance, and Liberation in Octavia Butler's Kindred." Literaturas de Língua Inglesa: leituras interdisciplinares. Vol. 3 Spring 2019, Río, Brazil.
"African Diasporic Autochthonomies: A Syncretic Methodology for Liberatory Indigeneities." In Post/Colonialism and the Pursuit of Freedom in the Black Atlantic Ed. Jerome Branche. Routledge: 2018.
"On the Edge of Silence: l'(in)-imaginable and Gendered Representations of the Rwandan Genocide from Photography to Raoul Peck’s Sometimes in April." In Raoul Peck: Power, Politics, and the Political Imagination. Eds. Pressley-Sanon & Saint-Just. Lanham: Lexington-Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.
"Subjectivity in Motion: Caribbean Women's (Dis)Articulations of Being from Fanon/Capécia to the Wonderful Adventures of Mary Seacole in Many Lands." Hypatia: Journal of Feminist Philosophy. Spring 2015.
Photography & Film
"Ayiti Alive!" One-woman show, Claremont Graduate University Art Gallery, February 3-14, 2020. 52 original digital photographs printed on aluminum sheets and DiBond.
"Ayiti Chérie: Signs of Life 2011-2013," One-woman show, Fairfield Community Arts Center, Fairfield, OH, 32 original digital photographs printed on aluminum sheets (16x20-5x6), January 10-February 15, 2014. (10 prints sold to private collectors)
"Ayiti Chérie: Signs of Life 2011-2013," One-woman show, Oxford Community Arts Center, Oxford, OH, 27 original digital photographs printed on aluminum sheets (16x20-5x6), March-April 2014. (4 prints sold to private collectors)
"Love & Forgiveness in Collectivity: Sant Atizana, Matenwa, LaGonav, Haiti," 13-minute video short, supported by the Fetzer Institute, premiered at Fetzer Institute Global Gathering, Assisi, Italy, September 2012.
Recent Talks, Interviews & Addresses
Invited Author & Writing Workshop Leader, Hobart Festival of Women Writers 2022, Hobart, NY, September 9-11, 2022.
Guest Author, Cafe Con Libros & Brooklyn Caribbean Lit Festival in conversation with Marsha Messiah, WS, WT Paperback Book Launch. September 8, 2022.
Guest Author, Charis Books, Georgia, Virtual event in conversation with Cindy Allman (Book of Cinz), WS, WT Paperback Book Launch. August 28, 2022.
Keynote Address (virtual), “"Moving with": Consequences of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake,” Carnival Week Conference, Bridgewater University, Moderated by Profs. José Lara & Allyson Ferrante, March 24th, 2022.
Interview. “Saturdays with Joy Keys,” Live Radio Interview, January 22, 2022.
Interview. “Myriam Chancy's novel explores the 'mythology and misunderstanding' that still surrounds Haiti's 2010 earthquake,” As It Happens with Carol Off, CBC Radio, November 12, 2021.
Interview. “Myriam J. A. Chancy on the Intimate Power and Purpose of Fiction,” Reading Women Podcast with Kendra, Archived Lit Hub, November 10, 2021.
Interview. “Myriam J. A. Chancy’s powerful new novel explores the tragedy of the 2010 earthquake,” Writer’s & Company with Eleanor Wachtel, CBC Radio, November 5, 2021.
Interview. A Different Booklist Bookstore with Itah Sadu. Via Zoom. Toronto, October 15, 2021.
Panelist (Invited). Harper Collins’ Indie Book Festival Event with Jayne Allen and Kaitlyn Greenidge, moderated by Jael Richardson. October 13, 2021.
Interview. “Myriam JA Chancy, What Storm What Thunder,” Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books with Zibby Owens, October 10, 2021.
Book launch events for What Storm, What Thunder, virtual, organized by Tin House, with various venues and bookstores in the US, including Center for Fiction (with Nicole Dennis-Benn), Oct 6; East City Bookshop (with Sejal Shah), October 7; Harvard Bookstore (with Patrick Sylvain), October 8; Vroman’s Bookstore (with Masie Cochran), October 11; Book Passage (in-person book event & signing), October 14; Elliott Bay Book Co (with Angie Cruz), October 20; Odyssey Bookshop (with José Olivarez), October 27; Boswell’s Book Co (with Mike Gauyo), October 28, 2021; Gwinnett Country Library, Decatur, GA, March 31, 2022.
Interview. “Myriam J. A. Chancy on Writing Haiti and Honoring Its Local Realities: Jane Ciabattari Talks to the Author of What Storm, What Thunder,” Lit Hub, October 5, 2021.
Interview. “Myriam Chancy: What Storm, What Thunder,” Between the Covers Podcast with David Naimon. October 5, 2021.
Interview. Ottawa Writer’s Festival Podcast, with Adrian Harewood, October 4, 2021.
Interview. “‘What Storm, What Thunder’ brings to life voices from Haiti’s 2010 earthquake,” NPR Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. October 2, 2021.
Interview. “What Storm, What Thunder: An Interview with the Author Myriam J. A. Chancy,” with Lue Palmer, RoomMagazine.com, September 22, 2021.
Interview. IG Live with Nathan Dize for Kwasmanvwa [crossing of voices], academic lit collective in Francophone/Haitian Literature, September 22, 2021.
Interview. “Black Feminist in Public: Myriam Chancy Gives Voice to the Voiceless Among Survivors of Haiti’s 2010 Earthquake,” by Janell Hobson, September 7, 2021.
Interview. “Crisis in Haiti and Humanitarian aid” with Amara, “Jazz & Social Justice program,” WPFW Radio, Washington, DC/NY, August 25, 2021.
Interview. “Myriam J. A. Chancy Charts the Reverberations of a Disaster,” by Louisa Ermelino. Publisher’s Weekly, May 21, 2021.
NWSA/Meridians Editor Roundtable. “International Women’s Day Kitchen Table Talk.” Via Zoom. March 8, 2021.
Interview. “What Storm, What Thunder.” Bad Ass Black Girl Vlog (Miami, FL). Season 3, Episode 10. (December 2020) https://www.badassblackgirl.com/vlog
Interview. “Haitian Thinkers in the Public Space: An Interview Series."
Haiti Then & Now. July 13, 2020. https://haitithenandnow.wordpress.com/2020/07/13/haiti-then-and-now interviews-professor-myriam-j-a-chancy/
Invited Speaker, “Harvest Haiti: Unnatural Disasters” – Ecologies Entrelacées: Digital Humanities Project on Gender & Critical Ecology Series, Columbia University (Brandeis U; NYU), via Zoom, November 18-20, 2020.
Invited Speaker, “Autochthonomies: Racial Permeability, (Dis)Ability and Racial (Dis)Affiliations Transnationally,” CGU Humanities Forum, via Zoom, Nov. 4, 2020.
Invited Panelist, “Pan-Africanism & African Indigeneity,” Pan-Africanism Panel, with Lebohang Liepollo, Njeri Gateru, Menzi Maseko. Equal Health Global Summit, via Zoom, Internationally hosted in the US, Central and South Africa, October 18th, 2020.
Invited Panelist, “Guggenheim Fellowships: Advice from Awardees at Liberal Arts Colleges,” LAC Grants Panel, via Zoom, hosted by Grinnell & Carleton Colleges, August 11th, 2020.
Invited Guest, Women’s Leadership Roundtable, via Zoom, hosted by Equal Health Global Organization, Haiti & US hosts, August 9th, 2020.
Invited Speaker, “Autochthonomies: Gender and Transnationalism in the African Diaspora,” & Editor’s Roundtable. Meridians: A 20th Anniversary Symposium. John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute. Duke University. March 4th & 5th, 2020.
Invited Speaker, "Representing Racial Permeability: (Dis)Ability and Racial (Dis)Affiliations.” New College, Caribbean Studies Program, University of Toronto. February 25, 2020.
Invited Speaker, "Écrire c'est traduire (to write is to translate). Écrire Haïti ailleurs." Haïti: Littérature et Civilisation Colloquium. Organized by Yanick Lahens, Monde Francophones 2018-2019 Chair. Collège de France, Paris, France, June 20, 2019.
Featured Writer, with Monica Del Valle (Translator), Literary Salon, Presentation of Spanish Edition of Loneliness of Angels. 44th Annual Conference, Caribbean Studies Association (CSA), Santa Marta, Colombia, June 3-7, 2019.
Guest Panelist, 4th Biennial Latina/o Literary Theory and Criticism Conference, Latino/a Literature, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, April 27, 2019.
Guest Panelist, 21st Century/New African and African Diaspora Writings and Arts Series, Institute of African American Affairs & Center for Black Visual Culture, NYU, March 25, 2019.
Awards and Honors
- American Book Award, for What Storm, What Thunder, Before Columbus Foundation, Fall 2022
- Shortlisted, Aspen Words Literary Prize, What Storm, What Thunder, April 2022.
- Mary W. Johnson Faculty Achievement Award, Outstanding Scholarship, Scripps College, 2019-2020 AY.
- Awarded Mid-Career 2014 John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Literary Criticism, April 2014; Fellowship term: 12 months, August 2014-August 2015.
- Winner, 2011, Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Award 2010, Best Book of Fiction, for The Loneliness of Angels (Peepal Tree Press, 2010), awarded by the Government of Guyana/University of Guyana Prize Trustees.
- The Loneliness of Angels -- Longlisted for 1st Bocas Prize in Caribbean Literature, Trinidad/Tobago, March 2011 (Shortlisted in Fiction category)
- Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, English Graduate Student Association (EGSA), LSU, 2009.
- Nominated, Sigma Tau Delta (English Club), LSU, “Favorite Professor Award,” November 2008.
- Nominated for Prince Claus Award (by Amina Mama, South Africa), Netherlands, 2005.
- Editor Emeritus, Meridians, 2005-Present.
- Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement (Meridians), Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ), 2004.
- Shortlisted, Commonwealth Prize, Best First Book Category (Spirit of Haiti), Canada/Caribbean Region, 2004.
- Camargo Foundation Fellowship, Cassis, France, Fall 2001.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., César Chàvez, Rosa Parks, Visiting Professorship, University of Michigan, December 6, 2000.