Edwidge Danticat: A Reader’s Guide

Edwidge Danticat: A Reader’s Guideedited by Martin Munro with a foreword by Dany Laferrière—was recently published by University of Virginia Press (October 2010). This edited collection contains essays by leading scholars of Caribbean literature such as Myriam J. A. Chancy, J. Michael Dash, Régine Michelle Jean-Charles, Carine Mardorossian, Nadève Ménard, Mireille Rosello, and Kiera Vaclavik; an exclusive interview with Danticat by Renee H. Shea, in which she discusses her recent memoir, Brother, I’m Dying (2007); contributions by creative writers Madison Smartt Bell, Maryse Condé, Évelyne Trouillot, and Lyonel Trouillot; and an extensive bibliography.

The publishers describe the book as “the first publication devoted entirely to Danticat’s unique and remarkable work. It is also distinctive in that it addresses all of her published writing up to The Dew Breaker (2004), including her writing for children, her travel writing, her short fiction, and her novels.” It also states that “this collection of essays aims to enrich readers’ understanding of the various geographical, literary, and cultural contexts of her work and to demonstrate how it both influences and is influenced by them.”

In her review of Edwidge Danticat: A Reader’s Guide, Nadève Ménard (Tande) writes:

Martin Munro opens the introduction to this volume with a question: “When you go to a bookstore to look for something by Edwidge Danticat, which section do you go to first?” (1). Would it be Caribbean literature? African American? Ethnic? Women’s literature? The first part of the guide goes about answering those questions in different ways. Michael Dash examines Danticat’s connections to her Haitian precursors. Carine Mardorossian explores how Danticat fits in with other women writers from the Caribbean. She states that “[Danticat] thus deliberately develops a ‘poetics of location’ in which one’s privileging of a particular and ‘coherent’ cultural space does not hinder Relation but provides the very condition for it. In this process of identification, the opposition between nation and transnationalism dissolves to reveal the inextricable imbrication of the two” (47). [. . .]

For Munro, “While this in-between situation may be seen as a loss of identity for Danticat (as for many other exiled authors), it is also a kind of liberation in that she is free from many of the constraints and expectations that direct, unambiguous attachments bring” (4). Yet, Munro himself acknowledges that Danticat does not consider herself to be an exile. She can and does go “home” whenever she wants. . .

For full review, see http://tandenou2.blogspot.com/

For purchasing information, see http://www.amazon.com/Edwidge-Danticat-Readers-Martin-Munro/dp/0813930219

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s