Winner of a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, Edwidge Danticat is an author whose work focuses on the lives of women, particularly their relationships. While a student in the MFA program at Brown University, Danticat wrote a partly autobiographical account of the relationships between several generations of Haitian women, which was published as Breath, Eyes, Memory in 1994 and later selected for Oprah Winfrey’s book club.
In 1996, Danticat’s second book, Krik? Krak! a collection of short stories named after a call-and-response phrase common in Haitian storytelling, was a National Book Award finalist.
Danticat’s work has continued to focus on Haitian history. The Farming of Bones won the American Book Award and Super Flaiano Prize in 1999. The Dew Breaker, a series of interconnected stories about a Haitian immigrant who tortured and murdered dissidents during the repressive rule of François Duvalier, won the Story Prize and Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 2005. Her memoir, Brother, I’m Dying, was nominated for the National Book Award and won both the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2007 and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in 2008.
Danticat’s other books include Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, a collection of essays concerning the hazards of writing about Haiti while living in the United States; Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation, a children’s book about a young Haitian immigrant to the United States whose mother is incarcerated for not having proper documentation; and Untwine, a novel for young adults that explores the ramifications of a tragic accident that befalls a pair of twins.
Danticat’s other awards and honors also include the Langston Hughes Medal, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and the 2017 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. She lives in Miami.