Edwidge Danticat wins 2020 Vilcek Prize in Literature


Our warmest congratulations to writer Edwidge Danticat, who recently won the 2020 Vilcek Prize in Literature. See more from The Literary Hub and the Vilcek Foundation below.

The Literary Hub writes:

Congratulations to author and activist Edwidge Danticat, winner of this year’s Vilcek Prize in Literature! The Vilcek Foundation Prizes are awarded annually to immigrants who have significantly impacted American culture and society. Each year, the foundation awards two prizes: one in biomedical science and one in the arts and humanities; this year’s prize in the latter category is being awarded for literature, and recognizes Edwidge Danticat “for dazzling prose and profound understanding of our shared human condition embodied through her genre-spanning work that explores the Haitian diaspora and other personal narratives.” The 2020 Vilcek Prize in Literature includes a $100,000 cash award; Danticat and the other prizewinners will also be honored at an awards ceremony in New York City.

Here is an excerpt from the Vilcek Foundation:

Danticat has been praised for her sparse, emotionally evocative prose and for highlighting the stories of the Haitian diaspora. Her first book, Breath, Eyes, Memory, was her thesis project while studying for an MFA in creative writing at Brown University. Short story collection Krik? Krak! came next, and Brother, I’m Dying, the powerful memoir about her uncle and father, won her a 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award.

Danticat now lives in Miami in an area with a large Haitian immigrant community, where she said she sees the effects of current immigration policies. She knows that extended separations can leave their mark: “It affects you for the rest of your life,” she says.

Awards and Accomplishments

Neustadt International Prize for Literature (2017)

Honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) degree from the University of the West Indies Open Campus (2017)

PEN Oakland, Josephine Miles Literary Award (2014)

Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, shortlist for Claire of the Sea Light (2014)

Yale University Honorary Degree (2013)

Smith College Honorary Degree (2012)

OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for Create Dangerously (2011)

Langston Hughes Medal, City College of New York (2011)

The Nicolas Guillen Philosophical Literature Prize, Caribbean Philosophical Association (2009)

MacArthur Fellows Program Genius grant (2009)

Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Brother, I’m Dying (2008)

The National Book Critics Circle Award for Brother, I’m Dying (2007)

National Book Award nomination for Brother, I’m Dying (2007)

Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for The Dew Breaker (2005)

The Story Prize for The Dew Breaker (2005)

American Book Award for The Farming of Bones (1999)

National Book Award nomination for Krik? Krak!

Sources: http://vilcek.org/prizes/prize-recipients/edwidge-danticat/ and https://lithub.com/edwidge-danticat-takes-home-the-100000-vilcek-prize/


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