Edwidge Danticat Awarded Grand Prize for Literature from the Association of Caribbean Writers

Congratulations are in order for Edwidge Danticat whose book Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work won the 2013 Association of Caribbean Writers Grand Prize for Literature!

The prize is awarded by members in the Congress of the Association of Caribbean Writers to an author whose work reflects Caribbean culture, identity, and literature.

Create Dangerously has been heralded for its personal reflection on art, exile, and immigration and the intricate relationships between the three. Danticat was also featured in the documentary film Girl Rising in which she interviews a Haitian girl about what it means to be a girl in Haiti.

In this deeply personal book, the celebrated Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat reflects on art and exile, examining what it means to be an immigrant artist from a country in crisis. Inspired by Albert Camus’ lecture, “Create Dangerously,” and combining memoir and essay, Danticat tells the stories of artists, including herself, who create despite, or because of, the horrors that drove them from their homelands and that continue to haunt them. Danticat eulogizes an aunt who guarded her family’s homestead in the Haitian countryside, a cousin who died of AIDS while living in Miami as an undocumented alien, and a renowned Haitian radio journalist whose political assassination shocked the world. Danticat writes about the Haitian novelists she first read as a girl at the Brooklyn Public Library, a woman mutilated in a machete attack who became a public witness against torture, and the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat and other artists of Haitian descent. Danticat also suggests that the aftermaths of natural disasters in Haiti and the United States reveal that the countries are not as different as many Americans might like to believe.