Edwidge Danticat

Novelist, short story writer, memoirist

Edwidge Danticat (born January 19, 1969) is a Haitian-American novelist and short story writer.

Edwidge Danticat


  • Love is like the rain. It comes in a drizzle sometimes. Then it starts pouring and if you're not careful it will drown you.
  • Along with plot, I am always thinking about structure. Sometimes the story guides you to the best structure for its telling. Using letters seemed like the best way to tell this story. When writing these letters, the characters are selecting what they want to tell. In this case, the woman is writing in a way that would not endanger her or her family if her letters were found by the military authorities who took over the country, and the man is writing with the urgency of someone who could die at any minute while at sea.
  • In some of the earlier work, I liked to keep readers guessing: one story asked a question, and another resolved it. For the stories I’m working on now—both the new ones and the older ones I’m revisiting—I want to wring everything out. That way, I don’t have to write separate stories for every character who surprises me.
  • Well, I think that when I’m writing about Haiti, I’m just writing one long, ongoing story. But I really did feel, like a lot of people did, that after the earthquake, there were suddenly two Haitis: the Haiti of before the earthquake and the Haiti of after the earthquake. So I feel that I’ve been writing about the first one much longer. And writing about the earthquake... it’s been such a short period of time and it’s still such a raw experience that the few things that I’ve written about it, I feel like I’ve written them to process it myself.
  • It wasn't easy, but it was the lot of so many of us, and even in the house where I was growing up, my aunt and uncle were looking after my cousins whose mother was in Canada, and another cousin whose father was in the Dominican Republic. And our parents had made this choice so that we could have a better life. You know, they could have either stayed with us and struggled and tried to make a living, or they thought that they could carve out a future for us by going abroad and leaving us behind, and then later sending for us…
  • Loving Haiti, you know, comes in the blood. And loving America, being grateful for what it's afforded my family, there are so many Americans now in my family. That's what also makes it sad to see what's happening now, in terms of how new immigrants are being scapegoated, to hear about children who could have been myself, dying at the border for lack of medical care…

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