A steamy exploration of desire and sexual tourism by the author of How to Make Love to a Negro.
On the sun-drenched island of Haiti in the 1970s, under the shadow of "Baby Doc" Duvalier's notorious regime, locals eke out an existence as servants, bartenders and panderers to the white elite. Fanfan, Charlie, and Legba, aware of the draw of their adolescent, black bodies, seduce rich, middle-aged white tourists looking for respite from their colourless jobs and marriages.
These "relationships" mirror the power struggle inherent in all transactions in Port-au-Prince's seedy back streets. Heading South takes us into the world of artists, rappers, Voodoo priests, hotel owners, uptight Parisian journalists and partner-swapping Haitian lovers, all desperately trying to balance happiness with survival.
Made into an award-winning film starring Charlotte Rampling, Heading South, translated for the first time into English, explores the lines between sexual liberation and exploitation, artistic freedom and appropriation, independence and colonialism.
"There are many different voices featured in Heading South...who balance their happiness with their need to survive.
"Deftly presented, this evocation of a sultry, seamy island paradise serves as the literary counterpart of the joyous, funky music of Haiti and the paintings of its 'naive' school of artists, who present exaggerated figures in a rough and brightly colored world."
"Beguiling and lyrical...Laferriere is a master of the vivid image.
"Laferriere's prose is limpid, quiet and simple as the sun-beaten streets it describes."
"Dany Laferriere's Heading South, translated by Wayne Grady, is a slim novel of poetic beauty and political hardball...six world-wise women stir up a volatile clash of romance and class while visiting the exotic, beleaguered island nation in the grip of a despotic regime."
"Dany Laferriere is that very rare writer who can make you laugh out loud and also make your soul ache. His work is smart, edgy, and extremely sexy. Heading South is all of these things and more. English language readers who first came across these characters via the internationally acclaimed film only saw the tip of the iceberg. This book is not only icing on the cake, but is a crucial, essential read."
"Look me in the eye and tell me there's another Canadian writer with as deviously delicate a take on the post-colonial diaspora and the perils and potentials of multiculturalism."
"As hypnotic and seductive as their fevered human landscape, these narratives cast a disarming spell as they expose the sexual wagers that mark a daily struggle for survival. A potent and irresistible blend of masculine sensuality and social criticism. Beware Dany Laferriere: his words will bewitch you."