Edwidge Danticat

2004 Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction

photo of Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat is the author of several books, including Krik? Krak!, a collection of short stories that encompass both the cruelties and the high ideals of Haitian life. Danitcat’s latest novel, The Dew Breaker, spins a series of related stories around a shadowy central figure, a Haitian immigrant to the U.S. who reveals to his artist daughter that he is not, as she believes, a prison escapee, but a former prison guard and skilled torturer.

When asked about being a role model for her country she replied, “There are millions and millions of Haitian voices. Mine is only one. My greatest hope is that mine becomes one voice in a giant chorus that is trying to understand and express artistically what it’s like to be a Haitian immigrant in the United States.”  Danticat was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when she was twelve.  She lives in Miami with her husband and daughter.

She has received much praise and recognition for each of her collections of stories and novels, beginning in 1994 with _Breath, Eyes, Memory_ and continuing through her 2004 novel, _The Dew Breaker_.  In the latter, her lyrical writing explores equally atrocities and kindnesses, as it moves between the US of today and the Haiti of memory, quietly and deftly revealing the horrors of the past in prose that is liquid and arresting. Paule Marshall has said of Danticat, “A silenced Haiti has once again found its literary voice.”

Her book Breath, Eyes, Memory, is about a young girl from rural Haiti who is sent to New York to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers.

Danticat is also the editor of The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States and The Beacon Best of 2000: Great Writing by Men and Women of All Colors and Cultures.

Additional Edwidge Danticat information and links.