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Create dangerously : the immigrant artist at work
Edwidge Danticat
Adult Nonfiction PS3554.A5815 Z463 2010

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From Publishers' Weekly:

"In order to shield our shattered collective psyche from a long history of setbacks and disillusionment... we cultivate communal and historical amnesia...," writes novelist Danticat in this lean collection of jaw-breaking horrors side by side with luminous insights. This volume, which grows out of the Toni Morrison lecture series at Princeton, is uneven and inorganic in patches. But in Danticat's many remarkable stories and pensees from the gut, one locates the inimitable power of truth. Authorship becomes an act of subversion when one's words might be read and acted on by someone risking his or her life if only to read them. Danticat reminds us that, in a cruel twist of fate, her native Haiti, earthquake-and-poverty-torn, gained independence, in a bloody slave uprising, not long after the U.S. did: our ties, usually unexamined, run painfully deep. Whether eulogizing her family, writing on leading journalist Jean Dominique's assassination and exiled author Marie Vieux-Chauvet, or discussing "Madison Avenue Primitive" Jean-Michel Basquiat, Danticat documents what it means for an immigrant writer to create dangerously for immigrant readers who read dangerously, awakened and no longer participants in a culture of "historical amnesia." (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

The 12 essays here extend from lectures by Haitian American author Danticat (Brother, I'm Dying), presented at Princeton University, exploring a variety of aspects of Haitian life and culture, including under previous repressive regimes. The themes from essay to essay are somewhat disjointed, although more than one is about truth vanquishing tragedy: "Walk Straight" is a tribute to her beloved Tante Ilyana and a wonderful glimpse into authentic rural Haiti, "Welcoming Ghosts" relates the amazing life of voodoo artist Hector Hyppolite, and "Acheiropoietus" concerns the work of photographer Daniel Moral. Throughout, Danticat's writing is crisp and clear, reminiscent of what the very best essay writing once aspired to be. VERDICT Not just another writer's book about writing, this volume delves into the suffering that affects artists who suspend themselves from time and place to create. Ironically, the Haitian Danticat was initially an immigrant to the United States (at age 12), but her years spent away from Haiti have now made her an immigrant to Haiti. Thus, she is the bridge that suspends dangerously from shore to shore. Her book should be read by students, historians and lovers of well-crafted writing.-Nedra Crowe-Evers, Sonoma Cty. Lib., Santa Rosa, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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