Best Haitian Bookstore (2000)

Libreri Mapou

Recorded compas music from St. Andre's Record Store across the street fills this shop in the heart of Little Haiti, often accompanied by the live drumming of percussion students or the rehearsals of the dance company Sosyete Koukouy out back. Paintings by Haitian artists and larger-than-life photos of folkloric dancers and musicians cover the walls, while frequent readings and panel discussions at the cultural center upstairs stimulate the intellect. With more than 3000 titles in French, Kreyol, and English, Libreri Mapou has been the center of Haitian literary culture in Miami since 1986. For those looking to learn any of the above languages, Mapou has a large section dedicated to dictionaries and grammar books. Newspapers from Port-au-Prince, Paris, Miami, and New York City keep readers up to date on the latest news from the island and across the Haitian diaspora. Sociological studies and historical tomes take the long view on Haiti's often turbulent society. More fanciful readers might turn to the book of folk tales retold in Kreyol by bookstore owner Jan Mapou, or leaf through one of the many naughty novels on the front table by Haitian-Canadian Dany Laferriere, author of How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired. No wonder so many of the most creative minds in Miami make Libreri Mapou a frequent stop.


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