Edwidge Danticat, award-winning author, 2015 Annual Conference Auditorium Speaker
For Immediate Release
American Library Association
CHICAGO – Writer Edwidge Danticat—designated by Harper's Bazaar as "1 of 20 people in their twenties who will make a difference," featured in the New York Times Magazine as one of "30 under 30" people to watch and called one of the "15 Gutsiest Women of the Year" by Jane Magazine— appears as a 2015 Annual Conference Auditorium Speaker from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Monday, June 29. Her first novel, “Breath, Eyes, Memory,” was an Oprah's Book Club Selection, and her second book, the story collection “Krik? Krak!” made her the youngest National Book Award nominee ever.
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Danticat immigrated to a Haitian American neighborhood in Brooklyn at age 12. Her disorientation in her new surroundings saw her turn to literature for solace, and two years later she published her first writing in English in a citywide magazine written by teenagers. “Writing for New Youth Connections had given me a voice. My silence was destroyed completely, indefinitely.”
Prominent themes in her writing include national identity, mother-daughter relationships and diasporic politics. Danticat is a strong advocate for issues affecting Haitians abroad and at home, and her work has been translated into many languages. Her numerous awards include a Pushcart Short Story Prize, The National Book Critics Circle Award, the American Book Award, a Langston Hughes Medal, a MacArthur Fellowship and fiction awards from Essence and Seventeen magazines. Her most recent novel, “Claire of the Sea Light,” was shortlisted for ALA’s 2014 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. The poignant and tender picture book “Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation” (forthcoming September 2015) highlights the connective and transformative power of words and stories.
Danticat’s appearance at ALA Annual Conference is sponsored by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers.
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