An Initiate's Journey into Haitian Vodou
Preface by Madison Smartt Bell
Translated by D.J. Walker
World Literature Today
"So Haiti, known for its natural and sociopolitical calamities, offers us a book about the immaterial, trans-rational spirituality of its Vodou, about the world beyond time and space. Most works about Vodou until now were, according to Madison Smartt Bell's superlative preface, about its "external" elements. Thus, Beaubrun’s personalized account of her spiritual itinerary is even more valuable … Such observations illustrate the fascination of this book, which enlightens us about Haitian spirituality and provides invaluable insights into Haitian culture.”––Robert H. McCormick Jr.
The Caribbean Review of Books
"Mimerose Beaubrun's Nan Dòmi opens the barriers between this world and Ginen anba dlo ("Africa beneath the waters"). What distinguishes Beaubrun’s text from the many anthropological studies of Vodou previously published is that it eschews the public ritual aspects of the religion, to focus entirely on its private, inner, mystical elements as experienced by an initiated vodouist. Beaubrun allows her readers to accompany her on her path, with all its trials, terrors, dead-ends, frustrations, and revelations from the kalfou (crossroads) of this world, to the realm of Nan Dòmi (a state of lucid dreaming) and the mystic heart of Vodou, where in the state of possession ego is abandoned and the initiate incarnates as a divine spirit.”––Simon Lee
Haiti Then and Now
"What makes Nan Domi a standout from other texts on Haitian Vodou is Beaubrun's willingness to share her personal accounts of Vodou, and to resist the urge to justify Vodou’s mysticism to a Western audience … Nan Domi is not a Vodou apologist text. It neither deliberately recoups Vodou from an avalanche of negative portrayals and stereotypes, nor does it provide a base understanding of Vodou philosophy through a systematic and linear articulation of major themes and concepts in Haitian Vodou in a way that might be more digestible for Western readers. Instead, Nan Domi, posits Vodou’s universality … perhaps those with the most to gain from reading Nan Domi, are fellow scholars and academics of Haiti/Haitian Vodou who, similarly to Beaubrun believe they have a sufficient understanding of the theoretical concepts and workings of Vodou."––Kantara Souffrant, Haiti Then and Now
"Inside Haitian Vodou"
Oct 6, 2014
Madison Smartt Bell's preface to Nan Domi excerpted on Utne Reader.
Madison Smartt Bell, Utne Reader
"With Your Whole Being", An Excerpt of Nan Dòmi
May 27, 2014
An excerpt of Nan Dòmi appears in the Summer 2014 issue of Parabola.
Mimerose P Beaubrun, Parabola
Journal of Haitian Studies
"Nan Dòmi stays localized in Haiti, yet its universality, like that of Buddhism or Hinduism or any of the enduring religious worldviews, becomes apparent from Beaubrun's instructive guidance into this transferable territory. She directly confronts the same questions that arise in every worldview, every philosophy, every religion, and every science . . . Beaubrun takes us along the Vodou path to comprehending the nature of the universe, the nature of the ordinary and the divine, and also into the mired terrain of darkness and light, evil and suffering, and human frailty and strength, the twin threats of being and nothingness . . . Her story courageously unfolds her personal extension and deepening of awareness, not as a substitute for ordinary Western ways but as expansion of comprehension and competency . . . These are the lessons of this important book."--Journal of Haitian Studies
"Excerpt from Mimerose Beaubrun's latest book, Nan Dòmi"
Mar 14, 2014
Nan Dòmi, written by Mimerose Beaubrun, gets appreciated on Reality Sandwich.
Mimerose Beaubrun, Reality Sandwich
"Mimerose Beaubrun's book Nan Dòmi: An Initiate's Journey into Haitian Vodou — the first part of the title refers to a spiritual state — is a welcome addition to the canon of vodou scholarship, a deeply felt inside account of a faith of often daunting complexity."--Michael Deibert, Miami Herald
The Guardian UK
"This new and valuable book delves into the "interior" experience of voodoo, as opposed to the usual outsider focus on ritual and cosmology. In telling the story of her own initiation and painstaking education in voodoo, Beaubrun takes us into the mystical dimensions of this ancient religion. . . ."—Ben Fountain
PRI: AfroPop Worldwide
May 16, 2013
In this interview for PRI's AfroPop Worldwide, Mimerose "Manze" Beaubrun discusses how she originally set out to research the lakou, which is the traditional Haitian community, and along the way, met Aunt Tansia, the woman who would initiate her into Vodou. (The link prompts you to the interview clip at 46:25.)
"This book is my participation in my culture. . . . Often there is a lot of disinformation about the Haitian culture; often it's very negative and it stops people from understanding the culture. . . . Vodou is not only a religion . . . it's a philosophy of life.