Brooklyn BookBeat: In 'Haiti Noir 2,' Danticat Anthologizes Haitian Lit
By Samantha Samel
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Edwidge Danticat, the renowned Haitian-born author who immigrated to Brooklyn at age 12, will be returning to the borough to discuss "Haiti Noir 2" (Akashic Books; Jan. 7, 2014), a compilation of the writer's hand-picked selections from the canon of Haitian literature. The book is a follow-up to the widely acclaimed "Haiti Noir," which earned rave reviews from The New York Times, LA Times and other publications.
Danticat's Brooklyn appearance will take place on Jan. 16 at the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, where the author will share her extensive knowledge of Haitian literature. After the reading, Danticat will sign books, which will be available for sale. A portion of the profits from "Haiti Noir 2" will be donated to FotoKonbit, a nonprofit organization created to empower Haitians to tell their own stories through photography.
While the original best-selling "Haiti Noir" included all new stories by contemporary Haitian authors, "Haiti Noir 2" compiles the classics of Haitian literature, offering readers some insight into the development of Haitian culture over the past 50 years. Danticat has drawn on her expertise as a Haitian writer to collect numerous short stories and excerpts from longer works that she believes demonstrate the power and evolution of Haitian lit.
2014 marks the 10-year anniversary of the Akashic Noir Series, which launched with Brooklyn Noir in 2004. Since that first volume, the Noir Series has garnered attention with such nominations and awards as the Shamus, Derringer, Macavity and Anthony Awards to the Pushcart Prize. Two stories published in the Series have won the Edgar for Best Short Story and in 2013 Akashic founder and publisher Johnny Temple was awarded the Ellery Queen Award, a monumental achievement.
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The Jan. 16 event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Brooklyn Public Library's Dweck Center (10 Grand Army Plaza). The reading is co-sponsored by Haiti Cultural Exchange and MoCADA.
Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when she was twelve. She is the editor of "Haiti Noir," and author of several books, including "Breath, Eyes, Memory," an Oprah Book Club selection, "Krik? Krak!," a National Book Award finalist, "The Farming of Bones," an American Book Award winner, and the novel-in-stories "The Dew Breaker." She has also written several young adult novels and a travel narrative, "After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel." Her memoir, "Brother, I'm Dying," was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2007 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She is a 2009 recipient of the John D. and Catherine MacArthur Foundation grant and she lives in Miami.