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Edwige Danticat Krik Krak Essay Scholarships

This text is the first sustained collection of critical essays engaging the totality of the work of Edwidge Danticat as a novelist and writer of short fiction, memoirist, essayist, filmmaker, activist, and public intellectual. We invite abstracts that examine the ways in which Danticat’s work – inclusive of and beyond her fiction – offers critical commentary on sociopolitical constructions of black diasporic experiences, the function, space, and place of homes, and representation of nationalisms, teasing out the tensions inherent in the confluences of past and present. Through this collection of critical essays, we are working to contribute to the growing body of existing literature on the work of the author. We are especially interested in work which address her publications after 2010.

An understanding of storytelling as an act of resistance and a communal undertaking is central to Danticat’s entire oeuvre, invoked in her fictional characters, in her discussion of her own life experiences, and in her cultural commentary. Danticat’s work revises and counters the histories and imaginaries of America. Given that she is unflinching in her assertion that the work of a writer is to create dangerously, critical engagement with Danticat’s entire body of work is decidedly necessary and essential in these times.

We invite proposals for chapters (7,000-8,000 words) for this edited collection. Possible topics include:

  • Citizenship, (diasporic) identity and performativity
  • Danticat as memoirist, essayist, travel writer
  • Testimonio, witness, dangerous creation
  • Historicity, macro and micro narratives
  • Connections between Danticat’s activist and creative work
  • Construction of home place and space
  • Archives, counter-archives and transnational histories
  • Survival and/or resistance during precarious times
  • Narrativity and form
  • Literary influence and tradition, collective memory
  • Audience and literary reception
  • Danticat as public intellectual
  • Alternate media: audio/radio and film

Bibliography of Primary Sources:
Short Fiction: Krik! Krak! (1996), The Dew Breaker (2004); Novels: Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994); The Farming of Bones (1998), Claire of the Sea Light (2013); Young adult novels: Beyond the Mountains (2002); Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490, Untwine (2015), Mama’s Nightingale (2015); Memoir: Brother, I’m Dying (2007), Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work (2010), The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story (2017), After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti; Anthologies: The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Diaspora (2001), Haiti Noir (2011), Best American Essays (2011); Films: Poto Mitan (2009), Girl Rising (2013); Essays: The New Yorker column, and assorted publications.

Please send, abstract (500 words) and bio (150 words) by 20 November 2017 to:

Acceptance of Proposals: 8 January 2018.                 Comments from the Editors: 2 July 2018.
Full Drafts Due: 14 May 2018.                                     Revisions Due: 23 July 2018.

 

Edwidge Danticat is a novelist whose moving and insightful depictions of Haiti’s complex history are enriching our understanding of the Haitian immigrant experience. In works that chronicle the lives of ordinary Haitians, she evokes themes of family, isolation, and community that, while grounded in a specific cultural milieu, resonate with a wide range of audiences. With graceful, deceptively simple prose, she recounts the 1937 massacre of Haitian workers in the Dominican Republic in The Farming of Bones (1999); told through the eyes of a young domestic servant, the story of the atrocity becomes one of cultural and spiritual survival. In The Dewbreaker (2004), a series of seemingly disconnected stories are revealed to revolve around the same traumatic events. Danticat challenges readers of these stories to understand and forgive a perpetrator of horrific atrocities committed in a distant time and place, illustrating how events in Haiti continue to haunt the immigrants of the diaspora. Her most recent book, a memoir entitled Brother, I’m Dying (2007), pays tribute to her father and uncle through an unflinching account of the triumphs and tragedies they experienced in Haiti and the United States. In these and other works, Danticat provides a nuanced portrait of the intersection between nation and diaspora, home and exile, and reminds us of the power of human resistance, renewal, and endurance against great obstacles.

Edwidge Danticat received a B.A. (1990) from Barnard College and an M.F.A. (1993) from Brown University. Her additional books include the novel Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994); a collection of stories, Krik? Krak! (1995); a memoir, After the Dance: A Walk through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti (2002); and two novels for young adults, Behind the Mountain (2002) and Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490 (2005). Danticat has been a visiting professor of creative writing at New York University (1996-1997) and the University of Miami (2000 and 2008).

Recent News

Since 2009, Edwidge Danticat has published several books, including Eight Days (2010), a picture book; Create Dangerously (2010), a collection of essays; and Claire of the Sea Light (2013), a novel. Danticat also appeared in the independent film Stones in the Sun (2014) and worked on a documentary called Girl Rising (2013). She has two forthcoming publications: Untwine, a young adult novel, and Mama’s Nightingale, a picture book.

Updated July 2015

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