Literary Birthday - 19 January - Edwidge Danticat

Happy Birthday, Edwidge Danticat, born 19 January 1969

Nine Quotes

  1. When you write, it's like braiding your hair. Taking a handful of coarse unruly strands and attempting to bring them unity.
  2. People are just too hopeful, and sometimes hope is the biggest weapon of all to use against us. People will believe anything.
  3. Someone has said that nations have interests, they don't have friends, and you see that over and over in U.S. policy.
  4. Create dangerously, for people who read dangerously. ... Writing, knowing in part that no matter how trivial your words may seem, someday, somewhere, someone may risk his or her life to read them.
  5. Most Americans are very limited in their interaction with the world, unless the world comes to us in a very shocking way.
  6. I didn’t tell you this because it was a small thing, but little girls, they leave their hearts at home when they walk outside. Hearts are so precious. They don’t want to lose them.
  7. Pretend that this is a time of miracles and we believe in them.
  8. She told me about a group of people in Guinea who carry the sky on their heads. They are the people of Creation. Strong, tall, and mighty people who can bear anything. Their Maker, she said, gives them the sky to carry because they are strong. These people do not know who they are, but if you see a lot of trouble in your life, it is because you were chosen to carry part of the sky on your head.
  9. It is the calm and silent waters that drown you.

Danticat is a Haitian-American author. She has written several books including Breath, Eyes, Memory and Krik? Krak! Find out where Edwidge Danticat writes.

Source for Image

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Google+,  Tumblr  and  Twitter


Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Where Writers Write - Edwidge Danticat


Haitian-born, Edwidge Danticat in her Miami work space, with her daughters, Leila (left) and Mira.

"I like looking at faces while I work. Not actual faces, but paintings and photographs. I keep a pile of pictures, intriguing faces torn from newspaper or magazine pages, from which I might borrow distinctive features and gestures for my characters.

The paintings and prints around my desk are mostly gifts from friends and sometimes total strangers. I live between Miami’s Design District and Little Haiti neighborhoods, which means there are always amazing things to look at around me.

I was sitting in a neighborhood deli once having lunch with my daughters and trying to do a bit of work at the same time. Sitting next to us was Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, Muhammad Ali’s former physician and a well-known artist. At the end of the meal, he handed me a drawing that he had just dashed off on a napkin. Once when I went to visit my friend Edouard Duval Carrié in his Little Haiti studio with my oldest daughter, he took a picture of us and later enlarged it and put it in one of his signature frames. I like to keep those things nearby because they remind me of the indispensable generosity of my immediate and larger artist community.

However, the picture that has been with me the longest is a photograph of Jean-Michel Basquiat, which I’ve had since moving into my first solo apartment in my mid-20s. A friend who knew how much I love Basquiat gave me that picture, and fearing that writer-type notoriety might go to my head, wrote on the card that accompanied it, “Don’t ever believe your own hype.” I’ve had that picture on all my desks, at eye level, ever since.

Sometimes when I’m stuck and can’t write, I just sit there and stare at Basquiat. Or I sit under my desk and stare into space. Either way, I know that when I’m ready to get back to work, there will be all these faces there to greet me, silent witnesses to my days of both agony and joy."

Find out more about Edwidge Danticat here


Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.