Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Women Who Write: Edwidge Danticat

A couple of days ago, I blogged about one of my favorite Haitian authors, Edwidge Danticat and one of my favorite books written by her. If you haven't read anything by Edwidge Danticat, you might want to check out the post that I wrote about her book "The Farming of Bones". Today is Danticat's birthday, so in honor of her special day I figured that I would write a little about her life and work.

Edwidge Danticat was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 19, 1969. When she was two years old her father immigrated to New York City as a result of the political situation in Haiti. When she was four years old her mother also immigrated to New York, leaving Edwidge and her younger brother in Haiti with an aunt and uncle. Edwidge later immigrated to Brooklyn, New York when she was twelve years old.

Danticat later attended Barnard College and received a BA in French Literature. In 1993 she received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Brown University. In 1994, she wrote "Breath, Eyes, Memory", a novel about a twelve year old Haitian girl who immigrated to the United States to reunite with her family. Breath, Eyes, Memory later became an Oprah book club selection in 1998.

Edwidge Danticat is the first black Haitian female who has written in English, as well as to have been published by a major publishing house. Danticat's novels address issues of immigration, transnationalism, political turmoil, oppression of women, and other similar topics.  Her books have been published into over ten languages worldwide, and have won various awards. In 2009 Danticat was the recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award.

Books By Edwidge Danticat:
Krik? Krak! (1996)
Behind the Mountains (2002, young adult)
edwidge danticat book, haitian author edwidge danticat, breath eyes memory, the farming of bones


C said...

That sounds like a great book and writer. Thanks for sharing.

The Absence of Alternatives said...

Winning the MacArthur Genius Award definitely says a lot about her accomplishment. You cannot even apply for that award. That's like the Holy Grail. Impressive.