Edwidge Danticat turns ordinary into the extra-ordinary

Edwidge Danticat‘s Krik? Krak! pretty much blew my mind. I had heard about Danticat before, but had never gotten the chance to read any of her books. A Haitian-Montrealaise friend of mine told me about this book, so I decided to check it out. Krik? Krak! is my first Danticat novel. The book is described as “telling the stories of ordinary Haitians,” but it’s anything but ordinary.  The book begins with a Black woman and ends with a Black woman as the central characters of the book. I thought about all the stories of migration and the African diaspora when I read this book and how much these experiences are passed down through generations. Danticat is a master at using words to create vivid images and I felt like I was soaring through the blue skies of Haiti, swimming across dangerous shores or running for my life along with the characters in her book. Edwidge Danticat grew up in Haiti and began publishing books at a very young age – apparently, the title of the book comes from a Haitian storytelling tradition. In Haitian tradition, when a story is about to be told, the storyteller says “Krik?” and the audience replies “Krak!” It signifies that the storyteller is about to begin, and that the audience is ready to listen. In Danticat’s powerful TED Talk, she talks about the devastating effects of the 2010 earthquake on Haiti, but also speaks to the resilience of the nation’s people. In Krik? Krak! the theme that stood out to me most was resilience.


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