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Home | ArtMakers | Edwidge Danticat
Color: Black
Food: Rice and beans
Quote: Little by little the bird builds its nest.
Season: Summer
Vacation Destination: Cape Haitien
Port-au-Prince Haiti
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 03/10/2017

Author Edwidge Danticat was born on January 19, 1969 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti to André Danticat and Rose Danticat. In 1981, she moved to Brooklyn, New York, where shee graduated from Clara Barton High School and received her B.A. degree in French literature from Barnard College in New York City in 1990; and her M.F.A. degree in creative writing from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island in 1993.

In 1983, at age fourteen, Danticat published her first writing in English, “A Haitian-American Christmas: Cremace and Creole Theatre,” in New Youth Connections, a citywide magazine written by teenagers. Her next publication, “A New World Full of Strangers,” was about her immigration experience and led to the publication of her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory in 1994. In 1997, she was named one of the country’s best young authors by the literary journal Granta. Danticat’ s other works also included Claire of the Sea Light, Brother, I’m Dying, Krik? Krik!, The Farming of Bones, The Dew Breaker, and Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work.

Danticat has also taught creative writing at New York University and the University of Miami. She has also worked with filmmakers Patricia Benoit and Jonathan Demme, on projects on Haitian art and documentaries about Haiti. Her short stories have appeared in over twenty-five periodicals and have been anthologized several times. In 2009, she narrated Poto Mitan: Haitian Women Pillars of the Global Economy, a documentary about the impact of globalization on five women from different generations.

Danticat’s works received critical acclaim and won numerous awards. Brother, I’m Dying won a National Book Critics Circle Award, Breath, Eyes, Memory was chosen as an Oprah Book Club selection, The Farming of Bones won an American Book Award, The Dew Breaker received a Story Prize, and Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work won the Caribbean Writers Grand Prize for Literature. Danticat won fiction awards from Essence and Seventeen magazines, was named as one of “20 people in their twenties who will make a difference” by Harper’s Bazaar magazine, was named one of the “15 Gutsiest Women of the Year” by Jane magazine, and was the recipient of a MacArthur Genius Fellowship. Danticat has also received an honorary doctorate degree from Smith College in 2012 and Yale University in 2013.

Danticat and her husband, Faidherbe “Fedo” Boyer, have two daughters, Mira and Laila.

Edwidge Danticat was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 10, 2017.

Speaker Bureau Notes: