Edwidge Danticat’s novels and short stories are fast becoming iconic representations of the immigrant experience — and what it means to be Haitian-American.

Why you should listen

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Edwidge Danticat immigrated to the United States at 12, publishing her first short story in a youth magazine only two years later. Spending her teenage years in a Haitian neighborhood in Brooklyn, Danticat was able to capture the isolation and memories of her experience with authentic eloquence in her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, which was selected for Oprah’s Book Club.

Danticat has continued to share the stories of her past in the novels Krik? Krak!, The Farming of Bones, The Dew Breaker, and Brother, I'm Dying. She has taught creative writing at New York University and the University of Miami, and is a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur "Genius Grant."

What others say

“We all have our traditions, which have both positive and negative repercussions. It all depends on how we integrate them in our lives and whether they serve us or hold us back.” — Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat’s TED talk