Friday, September 13, 2013

Dr. Jerry Ward on Edwidge Danticat

[By Jerry W. Ward, Jr]

It is hard to classify Edwidge Danticat, to map where her imagination is located between the future and the past. She writes well.  This adverbial compliment identifies her as a successful rebel. She satisfies the demands of commerce and undermines those demands in her critiques of banality.

Is she an American writer?
Yes. She writes in and about the Americas.

Is she a Haitian writer?
Yes.  She knows the anatomy of the womb wherein the primal horror of her native land gestated. Aimé Césaire”s Cahier d’un retour au pays natal enjoys conversations with her works.

Is she a Caribbean writer?
Yes.  She is aware that the beauty of Nature and human nature is malevolent and compassionate.

Is she an African American writer?
Enjoy the pleasure of paradox: no and yes.

Branding is less important than the quality of the product offered for consumption.
Read The Dew Breaker.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.

The interrelated tales in The Dew Breaker cast light on why some contemporary fiction writers have minimized the traditional formats of the novel. They want to intensify the reader’s participation in constructing the knowledge that a story can offer. They expose the value of narratology. As a meditation on the physical and spiritual aspects of torture, Danticat’s book invites us to think profoundly about why terrorism and pain are slightly more attractive than peace and love, especially if we are dealing with the subject of torture in transnational historical spaces.

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