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Danticat’s most recent novel is Claire of the Sea Light. She previously published a memoir, Brother, I’m Dying. Her novel, The Dew Breaker, won the 2005 Story Prize and was selected for the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other novels are Breath, Eyes, Memory; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; and The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner. In September of 2009, Ms. Danticat received one of the coveted MacArthur Fellow Genius grants, a $500,000 “no strings attached” stipend over the next five years, as incentive to continue her creative work.
This clip is taken from the 40-minute video, Edwidge Danticat Visits Her Haitian Roots, produced by Mosaic Media Arts and videotaped and edited by Full Duck Productions. The video presents a portion of an interview with Danticat, who immigrated to the United States as a teenager and has since written several critically acclaimed novels dealing with Haitian and US cultures. The clip shows Danticat speaking about how she dealt with becoming a woman and having roots in two cultures, one of the many topics she addresses in the entire interview.
Edwidge Danticat Visits her Haitian Roots: the prize-winning, young novelist from Haiti and Brooklyn spoke frankly in this interview given in Miami, Florida, in June 2003. Danticat is the first Haitian woman to compose a novel entirely in English, and she is also the first author to bring the Haitian/American experience to American literature. In our conversation, she talked about the dictatorship in Haiti, the experience of being separated from her parents for eight years, racism, valuing the self, her sense of mystery and the creative process. The conversation reveals Danticat’s strength, her sensitivity for others who have suffered and her ability to derive unique insights from adverse circumstances. She speaks about writing, her audience, her dreams, and she ends with a reading from her novel, The Dew Breaker, an intense story of family, dislocation and torturers during the notorious Duvalier regime.