3) What is narrative non-fiction?
WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING?
If this book makes a profit after it is published, 15% will go straight to Haiti Bible Mission to help support their school in Te Wouj.
25% will go to a fund that will begin to pay back the contributors of this book project. They put a lot into it for very little money, and we want to be able to thank them as it succeeds.
10% will go to fund a new project with the locals in Jérémie, Haiti. Although this project has not been determined yet, there are a couple ideas in the works.
The other 50% will go to fund printing and shipping copies of the book to send to schools and other relevant places in Haiti or wherever else the book will be useful.
WHO IS THE AUTHOR?
That depends on what you mean by author. The originator of the story itself? That would be the individual Haitian who gave the story. But if you mean the person who wrote the stories in English, that would be Rosie Alexander. But do you mean the Creole translator? They have to rewrite each story so that it will make sense and sound beautiful in Creole, it’s not just a word for word translation.
So it’s a complicated question.
Check out our Meet the Team page to get to know everyone who contributed!
WHAT IS NARRATIVE NON-FICTION?
You may ask what narrative nonfiction is, and you wouldn’t be the only one. “Narrative” and “nonfiction” seem to be mutually exclusive. Emily Dickinson wrote, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant,” and many authors, such as Tim O’Brien in The Things They Carried, call their works creative nonfiction because they tell true stories in a compelling, dramatic way so that it reads like fiction. They use literary styles and techniques to create accurate narratives that are beautiful to read.
Human memory is fallible, details are lost or changed. Knowing this, there is freedom to delve into these snapshots of life with greater descriptive freedom while still remaining true to the essence of the story and the details provided by the memories. The author’s process was to first interview Haitian locals with a translator, asking them questions and recording our interview. After the story is written, the author has the Haitian read or hear the story with the help of a translator in order to verify the story. This was to ensure that the Haitians felt like the work represented them and their story accurately.
How can one extract the absolute and whole truth from a memory? What is truth when it is told through a subjective perspective and narration of a human being? It is impossible to convey the complete truth of a memory. The point of these stories is to show the essence of truth of Haitian memories and lives – not to repeat facts and details in a dry and confusing way, like a textbook or history book.
And just to reassure (again) – all of these stories were verified and approved by their original storytellers before being approved for publication.
IS IT A CHRISTIAN BOOK?
Probably not in the sense you are thinking. An important clarification would be to define what people assume is a “Christian” book. Most would define it as writing that deals with Christian themes and morals as a primary plot point as well as a Christian “take away” that calls for the reader to convert or change their lifestyles.
Although there are a couple stories related to Christian faith, the majority of them are not about faith. This book was made while Rosie was staying with a Christian mission (Haiti Bible Mission), but it is not a collection of conversion stories. At the same time it is understood and acknowledged that because the Haitians interviewed were generally known by or affiliated with Haiti Bible Mission, most of those interviewed are now Christians.
The point is these are stories from life being lived in Haiti. The good, the bad, the little things, the big things… Everything.