Happy Book Birthday to A Girl Named Lovely by Catherine Porter, out today from Simon & Schuster. This insightful and uplifting memoir about a young Haitian girl in post-earthquake Haiti, and the profound, life-changing effect she had on one journalist’s life, has already received rave reviews and blurbs:
“A Girl Named Lovely is a graceful and moving memoir. Full of warmth and wisdom, it opens your eyes and your heart to those in need, invites you to step into their world, and, finally, inspires you to find a way to help.” — Amanda Lindhout, bestselling author of A House in the Sky
“This is a beautiful and tenderly told story, at times shocking, always illuminating.Catherine takes us into the heart of Haiti but also into her own conflicted heart, where her professionalism collides with her humanity. Ultimately, it’s a little Haitian girl who shows Catherine how she can be—at once—a compassionate person, a rigorous journalist, and a loving mother. A Girl Named Lovely is a book that will resonate with readers long after the final poignant pages.” — Carol Off, bestselling author of All We Left Behind
“Powerful and searching, Porter’s book offers an unforgettable account of how one woman’s humanitarian gestures not only changed her, but also made a difference in the lives of people living in unimaginable misery. A movingly candid memoir about finding some measure of hope in ‘the poorest country in the western hemisphere.'” — Kirkus Reviews
In January 2010, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, killing hundreds of thousands of people and paralyzing the country. Catherine Porter, a newly minted international reporter, was on the ground in the immediate aftermath. Moments after she arrived in Haiti, Catherine found her first story. A ragtag group of volunteers told her about a “miracle child”—a two-year-old girl who had survived six days under the rubble and emerged virtually unscathed.
Over the next five years, Catherine would visit Lovely and her family seventeen times, while also reporting on the country’s struggles to harness the international rush of aid. Each trip, Catherine’s relationship with Lovely and her family became more involved and more complicated. Trying to balance her instincts as a mother and a journalist, and increasingly conscious of the costs involved, Catherine found herself struggling to align her worldview with the realities of Haiti after the earthquake. Although her dual roles as donor and journalist were constantly at odds, as one piled up expectations and the other documented failures, a third role had emerged and quietly become the most important: that of a friend.
Catherine Porter is the Canada bureau chief for The New York Times, based in Toronto. She joined the paper in February 2017 from Toronto Star, Canada’s largest-circulation newspaper, where she was a columnist and feature writer. Catherine has received two National Newspaper Awards in Canada, the Landsberg Award for her feminist columns, and a Queen’s Jubliee Medal for grassroots community work. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two kids.