M.J. Fievre is a Haitian expatriate who lives and writes in Florida. Fievre wrote an essay in TNB Books’ new collection, The Beautiful Anthology, about her beautiful mother and her father’s unpredictable and violent mood swings. Here, she discusses beauty:
What is the biggest surprise when it comes to beauty?
I’ve found that some people are so physically flawed that they end up being beautiful.
What is the most beautiful food?
Where is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been? Why is it beautiful?
Nassau, Bahamas. A place that involves all the senses. I can still smell the conch fritters with their spicy and garlicky sauce. In the gaudy atmosphere of Goldie’s restaurant in a fish-fry, I had a cold Kalik wrapped in a brown paper bag, while listening to the local vibe of jazz, rhythm and blues. I remember two women braiding a tourist’s hair to the sounds of a brass band playing “Stand Up for Jesus” in Fort Charlotte. Beauty—the Victorian mansions, cathedrals and eighteenth-century fortresses. The straw market with its hand-painted figurines and colored hats. Bahama Mama and Gommbay Smash. A policeman in a sparkling-white uniform adorned with leopard skin.