Celebrated Haitian author Edwidge Danticat will speak at the Corral at the Sun Dome tonight at 7.
The event, co-sponsored by Club Creole, is part of USF’s University Lecture Series. Danticat is the author of several renowned works, including Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994), Krik? Krak! (1995), The Farming of Bones (1998), Behind the Mountains (2002), The Dew Breaker (2004) and Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490 (2005).
Danticat was born in Port-au-Prince and later immigrated to New York, where she attended Barnard College to study French literature. She later received her a Master of Fine Arts degree from Brown University.Danticat earned success in a new country while embracing her heritage. Originally enrolled to study nursing at Barnard, Danticat followed her true passion and has built a literary career inspired by her experiences growing up in Haiti. A former colony of France, Haiti was the first independent black republic and was formed from a slave revolt.
Haiti’s history provides the background to Danticat’s major works thus far, as well as the work from which she will be reading to her audience tonight.
“I hope (the audience will) come away first off with better sense of Haiti and what it’s like to be a writer,” Danticat said.
Club Creole requested that Edwidge speak as a part of ULS as a strong voice not only for Haitians, but also for women. Iris Elijah, director of programming for ULS, was thrilled to invite Danticat, as the purpose of the program is to promote diversity and to widen and challenge people’s perspectives.
“Edwidge doesn’t appeal just to Haitians,” Elijah said. “Her work appeals to anyone who’s struggled to enter the (United States).”
Edwidge will read from her newest book, which hasn’t been named yet. The book chronicles the struggles her uncle faced in his journey to the United States.
The reading will challenge people to think about immigrants and immigration by stepping outside the “normal” American perspectives.
“The memoir is about him and about my father who died around the same time, and my daughter who was born around the same time,” Danticat said. “But also it addresses issues of violence in Haiti and certainly immigration issues.”
Added Elijah, “The book appeals to anyone who’s on a quest for a better and different life.”
Staff writer Candace Kawcontributed to this report.