First Person Fiction is dedicated to the immigrant expe...)
First Person Fiction is dedicated to the immigrant experience in modern America. In "Behind the Mountains" Edwidge Danticat tells the story of Celiane and her family's struggles in Haiti and New York.
It is election time in Haiti, and bombs are going off in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. During a visit from her home in rural Haiti, Celiane Espérance and her mother are nearly killed. Looking at her country with new eyes, Celiane gains a fresh resolve to be reunited with her father in Brooklyn, New York.
The harsh winter and concrete landscape of her new home are a shock to Celiane, who witnesses her parents' struggle to earn a living, her brother's uneasy adjustment to American society, and her own encounters with learning difficulties and school violence.
Edwidge Danticat, the award-winning, best-selling autho...)
Edwidge Danticat, the award-winning, best-selling author of THE FARMING OF BONES and KRIK? KRAK! offers a powerful addition to The Royal Diaries series with the story of Haiti's heroic queen Anacaona.
With her signature narrative grace, Edwidge Danticat brings Haiti's beautiful queen Anacaona to life. Queen Anacaona was the wife of one of her island's rulers, and a composer of songs and poems, making her popular among her people. Haiti was relatively quiet until the Spanish conquistadors discovered the island and began to settle there in 1492.
The Spaniards treated the natives very cruelly, and when the natives revolted, the Spanish governor of Haiti ordered the arrests of several native nobles, including Anacaona, who was eventually captured and executed, to the horror of her people.
After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti (Updated) (Vintage Departures)
(As a child, acclaimed author Edwidge Danticat was terrifi...)
As a child, acclaimed author Edwidge Danticat was terrified by Carnival festivities – until 2002, when she returned home to Haiti determined to understand the lure of this famed event. Here she chronicles her journey to the coastal town of Jacmel, where she met with the performers, artists, and organizers who re-create the myths and legends that bring the festival to life. In the process, Danticat traces the heroic and tragic history of the island, from French colonists and Haitian revolutionaries to American invaders and home-grown dictators. Part travelogue, part memoir, part historical analysis, this is the deeply personal story of a writer rediscovering her country, along with a part of herself—and a wonderful introduction to Haiti’s southern coast and to the beauty and passions of Carnival.
After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti
(Edwidge Danticat had long been scared off from Carnival b...)
Edwidge Danticat had long been scared off from Carnival by a loved one, who spun tales of people dislocating hips from gyrating with too much abandon, losing their voices from singing too loudly, going deaf from the clamor of immense speakers, and being punched, stabbed, pummeled, or fondled by other lustful revelers. Now an adult, she resolves to return and exorcise her Carnival demons. During her journeys she traces the heroic and tragic history of the island, from French colonists and Haitian revolutionaries to American invaders and home-grown dictators. Danticat also introduces us to many of the performers, artists, and organizers who re-create the myths and legends that bring the Carnival festivities to life. When Carnival arrives, we watch as she goes from observer to participant and finally loses herself in the overwhelming embrace of the crowd. Part travelogue, part memoir, this is a lyrical narrative of a writer rediscovering her country along with a part of herself.
Since the publication of her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, in 1994, Edwidge Danticat has garnered much recognition and is now known as one of today's most acclaimed young writers. A year later, at age 26, she published Krik? Krakl and became the youngest writer ever nominated for the prestigious U.S. National Book Award. Most of her writing takes place in her native Haiti and portrays many aspects of both Haitian life and the Haitian Diaspor
Edwidge Danticat, the oldest of four siblings and the only girl, was born in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, on January 19, 1969, to André and Rose Danticat. André Danticat, a cab driver, emigrated to New York City in 1971 in search of a better life for his family. Rose, a textile worker, decided to join him two years later, leaving four-year-old Danticat under the care of her aunt and uncle, a Baptist minister.
Creole was the language spoken at home, but she was educated in French, the official language of Port-au-Prince's public schools. In 1981, at age 12, she rejoined her family in Brooklyn. She attended public schools in the city and remembers the hardships she endured as an immigrant, being taunted by class-mates with, "Frenchy, go back to the banana boat" (Pierre-Pierre 1995, Cl). She also described how Haitian students protected themselves by disavowing their ethnicity: "They would say anything but Haitian" (Cl).
Danticat, who excelled in English and French, completed her undergraduate education at Barnard College in 1990 and went on to receive an M.F. A. from Brown University in 1993. While at Brown, she wrote two plays The Creation of Adam, produced in Providence, Rhode Island, at the Rites and Reasons Theater in 1992; and Dreams Like Me, produced at the university's New Play Festival in 1993.
An article she wrote and published while in high school about her emigration to the United States, which later developed into her master's thesis, eventually became her first novel Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994). The novel was selected in 1998 by Oprah Winfrey's Book Club, making Danticat's book an instant bestseller. Among the awards she received after that publication were the 1994 Fiction Award from The Caribbean Writer and a GRANTA Award in 1996 for Best of American Novelists; a similar recognition was also given to her in 1999 by The New Yorker.
Following the publication of her very successful novel, Danticat compiled a collection of short stories that she had begun writing as an undergraduate about tor-tured victims of Haiti's repressive secret police. Danticat described the book's purpose in an interview with National Public Radio: "I wanted to raise the voice of a lot of the people that I knew growing up .. . mostly poor people who had extraordinary dreams but also very amazing obstacles" (Wertheimer 2002). The resulting Krik? Krak! garnered her a National Book Award and the Pushcart Prize for short fiction in 1995.
In 1998 Danticat published a historical novel, The Farming of Bones, about the 1937 massacre of Haitian farm workers by the Dominican Republic military. Literary critic Barbara Mujica hailed it as "a gripping novel that exposes an aspect of Dominican-Haitian history rarely represented in Latin American fiction". The book received the American Book Award in 1999 and both the International Flaiano Prize for Literature and the Super Flaiano Prize.
Danticat is married to Fedo Boyer. She has two daughters, Mira and Leila. Although Danticat resides in the United States, she considers Haiti home. To date, she still visits Haiti from time to time and has always felt as if she never left it.