BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat + Author Interview [in Bloomsbury Review]

Dew BreakerHorror, Hope & Redemption: A Talk with Edwidge Danticat About Her Latest Novel, The Dew Breaker

When I mention to a dear friend in England, who happens to be an excellent fiction writer herself, that I’m preparing to interview Edwidge Danticat, her reply is swift: “I can’t believe you’re interviewing Edwidge Danticat. She is an amazing writer, writes all those things we Europeans are trained to feel they shouldn’t name.” Indeed, Danticat’s books have covered some of the worst atrocities humans perpetrate on one another, while her prowess as a writer allows her to reveal her stories in nuanced, elegant prose. In spite of her youth – she’s just in her mid-30s – the seemingly effortless grace of Danticat’s work belies a wisdom gained only in experiences that cannot possibly be measured by age.

Her latest book is no different. Published last spring to unabashedly glowing reviews, The Dew Breaker is ultimately a novel of hope and redemption, but the details throughout are horrific and haunting. The title refers to a torturer employed by the brutal government of François “Papa Doc” Duvalier to kidnap, maim, and kill people, so named because the dew breaker usually arrived “before dawn, as the dew was settling on the leaves.”

Like her latest novel, Danticat’s other fiction, Breath,  Eyes,  Memory; Krik?  Krak!; The Farming  of Bones; and young adult novel Behind the Mountains, is a powerful mixture of her native Haiti’s turbulent collective history and her own transforming journey to America. Born in a time of political and economic instability, Danticat was raised by her aunt and uncle in Haiti until her parents, who had previously emigrated to the United States, sent for her when she was 12. …[click here for more]

Author interview: The Bloomsbury Review, September/October 2004

Readers: Adult

Published: 2004



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