Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat is an Haitian-American author.

Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat immigrated to Brooklyn, New York at the age of twelve. She received a BA in French Literature from Barnard College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University. Her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory was published by Soho Press in 1994. Danticat has taught creative writing at New York University and the University of Miami. She is an advocate for issues affecting Haitians and has participated in several documentaries about Haiti.

cover image of the book Massacre River

Massacre River

by René Philoctète

Translated by Linda Coverdale

With a contribution by Edwidge Danticat

In 1937 the power-mad racist Generalissimo Trujillo ordered the slaughter of thousands and thousands of Haitians—and, as Philoctète puts it, death set up shop everywhere. At the heart of Massacre River is the loving marriage of the Dominican Pedro and the Haitian Adèle in a little town on the Dominican border. On his way to work, Pedro worries that a massacre is in the making; an olive-drab truck packed with armed soldiers rumbles by. And then the church bells begin to ring, and there is the relentless voice on the radio everywhere, urging the slaughter of all the Haitians. Operation Cabezas Haitianas (Haitian Heads) is underway, the soldiers shout, “Perejil! [Parsley!] Perish! Punish!” Haitians try to pronounce “perejil” correctly, but fail, and weep. The town is in an uproar, Adele is ordered to say “perejil” but stammers. And Pedro runs home and searches for his beloved wife, searches and searches… “The characters of this book not only inspired the love and outrage of an extraordinary writer like Philoctète,” writes Edwidge Danticat, “but continue to challenge the meaning of community and humanity in all of us.”

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