Danticat Profile

Maya Jaggi’s profile of Edwidge Danticat in this Saturday’s Guardian is quite au point, considering the news that came to light on Friday, on this blog and elsewhere.

The official cause of [Danticat’s uncle’s] death was acute pancreatitis. Yet for his niece, who says she begged to be allowed to see him when he was taken from the detention centre to hospital on November 2, but was refused “for security reasons”, he is a “casualty of both the conflict in Haiti and an inhumane and discriminatory US immigration system”. There are, she says, “so many people caught in the crossfire; my uncle was driven out with the clothes on his back and a briefcase. But he fled the frying pan for the fire. Maybe if they’d considered his age instead of applying a blanket policy he might be alive today.” Aristide was forced into exile by the combined effects of internal rebellion and US pressure. In Danticat’s view, “at the same time as this administration is creating situations elsewhere in the world that cause people to flee, it’s closing the doors even tighter against them”.

But the profile covers a lot of other territory–Danticat’s fiction of course, but also her film work, her activism, her upbringing, politics in Haiti, writing in a third language, and much, much else. A must read.