A girl’s got to read, this all Clutchettes know. So, to help navigate the ever-expanding world of books, Uptown Literati is here to provide a weekly reading list. We’re a fresh, book blog for cool girls and great reads (check us out on our site [uptownliterati.com] ) and we’ll be dishing on what you need to be reading now: classic tomes, sassy fiction, juicy tell-alls and every type of paperback in between. Happy reading!

Who: Activist and Author Beverly Bell; Foreword by Haitian-American Writer Edwidge Danticat

What: Walking on Fire: Haitian Women’s Stories of Survival and Resistance, a diverse collection of istwa, Haitian Creole for “both story and history.” After a proud, rousing foreword by Haiti’s high priestess of Literature, Krik? Krak! author Danticat, Bell sweeps readers into the multi-layered ’90s world of Haitian women. While Bell’s introductory passages are more academic, with passages on the island’s political history and women’s movement, they create a perfect balance to the often emotional stories of the 38 Haitian women storytellers.

The women represent the full range of Haiti’s ethnic and economic diversity, from Lise-Marie Dejean, former Minister of the Status and Rights of Women, to “Tibebe,” the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy man and a maid, who was given away and raised as a restavék, a child slave. Full of hope and the unyielding résistance that led their ancestors to rebel centuries ago, these women walked on fire and lived to tell the tale.

Why: Any story or book or historical knowledge that helps us understand the people of Haiti and their spirit, right now and in the future, is a good thing.

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