Mouths Don't Speak
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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.
"A beautiful exploration of one woman's quest to salvage a life that's been destroyed by an unforseeable natural disaster."
"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 heartbreaking symphony of place, time, [and] relationships."
--Rebel Women Lit (on Medium)
"In this dark and stirring domestic novel about family, loss, and mental health...Ulysse expertly captures the grief of expats witnessing a tragedy from afar, while also critiquing the globetrotting 24/7 news cycle that feeds off disaster porn."
"A young mother returns to Haiti after the massive earthquake to deal with the presumed death of her parents, while her husband remains home with their young daughter and struggles with combat PTSD. A powerful story of loss, trauma, and survival."
--Book Riot, 8 Small Press Books to Read in January
"This novel is a candid exploration of what forces live in the house shared by grief and hope, and what richly unsettling terrain we uncover when we try to go home."
--Paper Based Bookshop (staff blog)
"A beautiful reminder that the obstacles we face are not who we are; rather, they make us who we are."
--Tulsa Book Review
"A deftly scripted and compelling read from first page to last, Mouths Don't Speak by Katia D. Ulysse is one of those rare and inherently riveting novels that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf."
--Midwest Book Review
"Mouths Don't Speak is a thrilling piece of literature...Ulysse paints a vivid geography lesson in her pages...Mouths Don't Speak is a gripping tale that covers the truths of many world issues."
--Telegram News (Detroit)
"With sheer artistry Katia D. Ulysse delivers a captivating narrative...Highly recommended."
--Kaieteur News (Guyana)
"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 Yejidé, author of Time of the Locust
"With the force of an earthquake and with unrelenting prose, Katia D. Ulysse explores the pain of long-buried secrets, shakes them loose from their foundations, and deftly probes the lives of the families crippled by their aftermath."
--Amina Gautier, author of The Loss of All Lost Things
"This beautiful book is for anyone who carries the pain of loss, the heartbreak of guilt, the tremor of horrors lived, and the knowledge that we all love in flawed ways. Consider it required reading for humans, and be brought back to life."
--Anjanette Delgado, author of The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho
"Gripping and heartbreaking, Mouths Don't Speak is an intricate tapestry of familial betrayals, misunderstandings, forgiveness, and love; a testament to the power of new beginnings even after unspeakable tragedies. The pages had me holding my breath!"
--Lauren Francis-Sharma, author of 'Til the Well Runs Dry
"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. Fièvre, author of A Sky the Color of Chaos