Thursday, April 23, 2009

C.O.R.A Diversity Roll Call

Edwidge Danticat
Born January 19, 1969
Port-au-Prince, Haiti

I wanted to raise the voice of a lot of the people that I knew growing up, and this was, for the most part, poor people who had extraordinary dreams but also very amazing obstacles. ~Edwidge Danticat

My apologies to Ali for being so tardy with my post. I honestly had difficulty making up my mind about the country. Ultimately, I went with a favorite author and that is how I decided on the country. My feature writer is Edwidge Danticat. I recommend her work her regularly when asked about favorite authors. Ms. Danticat was born in Haiti and raised in New York. She has an impressive body of work. My favorite is The Farming of Bones, a novel about a Haitian servant in a Dominican Republic household. The writing is lyrical, at times surreal and compelling. Today, I picked up her YA novel, Behind the Mountains from the library. What little I know about Haiti I have learned through Ms. Danticat's work. Literature provides an intimate way to learn about a country's history, culture and people. Far more engaging to me than reading history.

For a while I went through a period of reading island writers and the one I continue to read is Ms. Danticat. If you're interested in storytelling traditions of different cultures, I highly recommend her celebrated work, Krik?Krak!

When you write, it's like braiding your hair. Taking a handful of coarse unruly strands and attempting to bring them to unity ... Some of the braids are long, others are short. Some are thick, others are thin. Some are heavy. Others are light.
- Krik? Krak! Learn more about Ms. Danticat here.

Geography: Haiti, in the West Indies, occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. About the size of Maryland, Haiti is two-thirds mountainous, with the rest of the country marked by great valleys, extensive plateaus, and small plains.

Find more Roll Call entries here.


Zetta Elliott said...

I didn't know she had a YA novel other than the one on Anacoana...thanks! I'm teaching Breath, Eyes, Memory next week...

Ali said...

Kind of cool that I did the Dominican Rep. and you did Haiti. I'll have to read some Danticat one of these days (especially now that I've done all this background checking on that part of the world).

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, I've never heard of this book or this author! Although, I thought that Krik?Krak! sounded familiar, and now I realize it's because an author who writes TV reviews I like is a professor of Haitian literature who wrote a book about Krik?Krak!

Anyway, I'd love to check out this YA book. What is happening in Haiti today makes me so sad.

Anonymous said...

I read the The Farming of Bones, and luv that book. Going to check out Krik?Krak! I love reading about other cultures. Thanks for the recommendation!

Doret said...

I didn't know Danticat had any YA novels. Thanks for suggesting which one to try first. This was worth the wait. Like Ali, I do love the D.R. and Haiti connection.

Keri said...

Did you like Behind the Mountains? I thought it wasn't that great unfortunately, but I LOVED LOVED LOVED Breath Eyes Memory and have had Farming of Bones on my To Read list forever.

A similar but much more successful book is Fresh Girl by Jaira Placide though I think it might be out of print.

susan said...

Hi Keri,

I'll look for Fresh Girl. Haven't got to Mountains yet.

Claudia said...

Excellent choice! The writing in Krik? Krak! is just beautiful.