TIME

Pictures of the Week: May 16 – May 23

From the public opening of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum to unprecedented flooding in Bosnia and Serbia, from student protests in Kenya and a traveling panda, TIME presents the best photos of the week.

TIME Haiti

Shipwreck off Haiti May Be Columbus’ Long-Lost Flagship

Underwater explorers believe they have found the shipwreck of Christopher Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria. The vessel sank in 1492, and its disappearance has remained a mystery for centuries

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Divers may have found the wreckage of Christopher Columbus’ flagship off the northern coast of Haiti.

If the remains turn out to be the Italian explorer’s Santa Maria, the location of which has remained a mystery since it sank more than five centuries ago, it will prove one of the most monumental archaeological discoveries from the seabed of all time.

“It is the Mount Everest of shipwrecks for me,” Barry Clifford, the world-renowned underwater treasure hunter who found the wreck, told CNN.

Clifford believes the iconic vessel sank during a Caribbean storm in 1492, causing Columbus to return to Spain with just the two smaller ships of his expedition.

“Every single piece fits. Now, of course, we have to go through the whole archeological process, and we plan to do that within the next few months, but I feel very confident that we’ve discovered the site.”

Clifford is working with the Haitian government to preserve the remains.

TIME Books

REVIEW: Roxane Gay’s Riveting Debut Novel An Untamed State

Roxane Gay, 'An Untamed State'
Roxane Gay, An Untamed State Grove Atlantic

Roxane Gay's impressive first novel is a story of trauma and its terrifying aftermath

Pop culture has no shortage of tales about tragedy, but rarely does it offer anything more than a glimpse of the trauma that lingers and haunts its survivors. Roxane Gay’s riveting debut, An Untamed State, captivates from its opening sentence and doesn’t let go — even after the novel’s harrowing nightmare appears to be over.

An Untamed State is told mostly from the perspective of Mireille Duval Jameson, a stubborn, quick-tempered daughter of Haitian immigrants who’s a mother to a baby boy and wife to a handsome, all-American husband. One ordinary morning, while visiting her wealthy parents’ home back in their native Haiti, she is kidnapped and held for ransom — an unfortunately all-too-common occurrence in country marked by staggering inequality. But despite his vast, self-made fortune, Mireille’s proud father refuses to pay her captors, who spend the next thirteen days subjecting her to gruesome acts of sexual violence and torture.

Gay writes a lot about the human body and its capacity for survival, but just as heartbreaking are the mental places Mireille must go to in order to endure. The ordeal, which draws from Gay’s own experience with rape, cleaves Mireille’s life into two halves — the Before, and the After — and leaves no relationship untouched. Flashbacks to her rocky courtship with husband Michael are excellently plotted alongside her imprisonment, providing the novel’s few moments of levity and some of its greatest suspense as Mireille struggles to return to normalcy. Her conflicted feelings toward Haiti get messier, too, as she tries to make sense of its many contradictions. “We loved Haiti. We hated Haiti,” Gay writes. “We did not understand Haiti or know Haiti. Years later, I still did not understand Haiti, but I longed for the Haiti of my childhood. When I was kidnapped, I knew I would never find that Haiti again.”

Gay’s writing is simple and direct, but never cold or sterile. She directly confronts complex issues of identity and privilege, but it’s always accessible and insightful. That will come as no surprise to fans of her writings about race, gender and culture that grace sites such as Salon, The Nation, BuzzFeed and (full disclosure) TIME — and it will only make the wait for her first book of essays (Bad Feminist, due in August) all the more trying. So let this be the year of Roxane Gay: You’ll tear through An Untamed State, but ponder it for long after.

TIME

Rahul Singh: First Responder for the World

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Toronto paramedic Rahul Singh made the TIME 100 list in 2010 for his work saving lives in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. Now, his global team of first responders at GlobalMedic treat thousands in Syria, the Philippines and other disaster zones.

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