Edwidge Danticat at Literary Hub:
The republic of Port-au-Prince, as it is often called, is a city of survivors. Even those who would like to see the country decentralized or have the capital moved elsewhere talk about creating another Port-au-Prince, a different one for sure, but an improved version of the old one. Still, Port-au-Prince is also a heartbreaking city. It is a city where a restaurant that charges over 20 American dollars for a steak might stand inches from some place where others are starving. It is a city where the dead can lie in a morgue for weeks as the family clamors for money to pay for the burial.
It is also a city where paintings line avenue walls, where street graffiti curses or praises politicians, depending on who has paid for them. It is a city of so much traffic that it has become a city of back roads, short cuts that rattle your body through hills, and knolls that at first don’t seem passable. It’s a city of motto taxis, which are better fitted for such roads. It is also a city of cell phones, where conversations often end abruptly because someone’s prepaid cards have run out of minutes. It is a city, as one of Haiti’s most famous novelists, Gary Victor, has written, where people who might run toward bullets will flee the rain, because the rain can reconfigure roads in an instant and can take more lives in a few minutes than a gun.