MIAMI, USA -- Edwidge Danticat, known and respected as a Haitian-American author, professor, and strong advocate for issues affecting Haitians abroad and at home will be honored by St Thomas University in its commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 10, 2014. Danticat will be the recipient of an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters.
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Danticat began writing at 9 years old. At the age of 12, she moved to Brooklyn, New York and started writing about her immigration experience. After graduating from Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn, New York, she entered Barnard College in New York City, where she received a BA in French literature in translation. Next, she received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Brown University in 1993, an Honorary Doctor of Letters also from Brown in 2008, and another from Yale University in 2013.
Since completing her MFA, the author taught creative writing at the New York University and the University of Miami and worked with filmmakers on projects on Haitian art and documentaries about Haiti. Her short stories have appeared in over 25 periodicals and have been anthologized several times. Her work has been translated into numerous other languages, including French, Korean, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish.
Danticat's list of literary awards and bibliography is quite impressive. She has won fiction awards from Essence and Seventeen magazines, was named "1 of 20 people in their twenties who will make a difference" in Harper's Bazaar, was featured in the New York Times Magazine as one of "30 under 30" people to watch, and was called one of the "15 Gutsiest Women of the Year" by Jane Magazine. Recent awards include The National Book Critics Circle Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Brother, I'm Dying, and the 2011 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for Create Dangerously.
Three themes are recurrently prominent in her work: national identity, mother-daughter relationships, and diasporic politics.
"St Thomas University takes pleasure in honoring Edwidge for aligning her works with an 'egalitarian regime of rights and the law' and to creating a space for those unable to speak about their individual experience," said STU president Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale. "The St. Thomas University community honors her for weaving together her outstanding literary work and the transnational communities, including Haitians, women, immigrants, mothers and daughters."