WHO: Edwidge Danticat
WHAT: Writer and Haitian immigrant
WHEN: Born January 19, 1969
WHERE: Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; currently resides in Miami, Florida
WORK WE HAVE HERE AT LC:
Behind the Mountains: "Writing in the notebook which her teacher gave her, thirteen-year-old Celiane describes life with her mother and brother in Haiti as well as her experiences in Brooklyn after the family finally immigrates there to be reunited with her father."
Breath, Eyes, Memory: "Sophie Caco, a child who was born of rape, leaves Haiti at the age of twelve to join her mother in New York City, where they both battle with the results of sexual abuse."
Her work also appears in The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race
“I want to look happily forward. I want to be optimistic. I want to have a dream. I want to live in jubilee. I want my daughters to feel that they have the power to at least try to change things, even in a world that resists change with more strength than they have. I want to tell them they can overcome everything, if the are courageous, resilient and brave. Paradoxically, I also want to tell them their crowns have already been bought and paid for and that all they have to do is put them on their heads. But the world keeps tripping me up. My certainty keeps flailing.” (from The Fire This Time)
"My parents spent their entire lives in Haiti before they left. They didn’t know much about the United States except that, at that time, there were opportunities there. They basically packed two suitcases and came. That experience of touching down in a totally foreign place is like having a blank canvas: You begin with nothing, but stroke by stroke you build a life. This process requires everything great art requires—risk-tasking, hope, a great deal of imagination, all the qualities that are the building blocks of art. You must be able to dream something nearly impossible and toil to bring it into existence." ("All Immigrants Are Artists")