Haitian-born author Edwidge Danticat to speak at SU Oct. 14
Edwidge Danticat, author “The Dew Breaker” (Vintage, 2005) and other best-selling novels and short stories and winner of a 2009 MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” is speaking at Syracuse University. Her presentation, which is Wednesday, Oct. 14, begins at 3:45 p.m. with a Q&A session and is followed by a reading and book signing at 5:30 p.m. All activities take place in Gifford Auditorium in Huntington Beard Crouse Hall and are free and open to the public. Parking is available in SU pay lots.
Danticat’s visit is part of Syracuse Symposium, presented in cooperation with the Raymond Carver Reading Series. Syracuse Symposium is organized and presented by the SU Humanities Center. For more information, call (315) 443-7192.
“Syracuse University is pleased to present Edwidge Danticat, one of today’s most vibrant storytellers,” says Gregg Lambert, Dean’s Professor of the Humanities, as well as founding director of the SU Humanities Center and principal investigator of The Andrew W. Mellon Central New York Humanities Corridor. “Much of her work evokes the rich narrative tradition of her native Haiti and, in the process, gives literary voice to her people.”
Born in Port-au-Prince, Danticat was raised by her aunt and uncle, before moving to Brooklyn at age 12. As an immigrant teenager, Danticat’s accent and upbringing were a source of discomfort, so she turned to literature for solace. Two years later, she published her first story in English.
Initially, Danticat pursued teaching, but her love of writing won out. Her M.F.A. thesis, “My turn in the fire—an abridged novel,” became the basis for “Breath, Eyes, Memory” (Soho Press, 1994). Four years later, the novel became an Oprah’s Book Club selection. Her other books include “Krik? Krak!” (Vintage, 1996) and “Brother, I’m Dying” (Vintage, 2008).
Danticat has served as editor of “The Butterfly’s Way: Voices From the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States” (Soho Press, 2003) and “The Beacon Best of 2000: Great Writing by Men and Women of All Colors and Cultures” (Beacon Press, 2000). She is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the prestigious Granta Award, a Pushcart Prize and fiction awards from Seventeen and Essence magazines. Danticat has taught creative writing at both New York University and the University of Miami.
Syracuse Symposium, whose theme this year is “Light,” is a semester-long festival devoted to the interdisciplinary humanities. This year’s festival explores the protean meaning of light, in all its senses and myriad of forms, through music, dance, the visual arts, philosophy, science and religion. The festival also attempts to bring new meaning to “light” through an array of lectures, performances, symposia and special events. More information is available at http://syracusesymposium.org/.
Named for the great short story writer and poet who taught at SU in the 1980s, the Raymond Carver Reading Series is a vital part of Syracuse’s literary life. The series is presented by the creative writing program, generally recognized as one of the finest in the country. More information about the program, which is housed in The College of Arts and Sciences’ English department, is available at http://thecollege.syr.edu.