Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Book Review: Create Dangerously

Once again, a masterpiece from the author of Krik? Krak! and Brother, I'm Dying,  Edwidge Danticat speaks about the necessary work of immigrant artists who create dangerously.

They write, sculpt, paint, photograph and air radio broadcasts because of a need to feel connected to their homeland, even if they are living in their country, and a need to inspire their fellow country men and women and rebel against oppressive regimes.

Danticat focuses mostly on Haiti and Haitian immigrants in this series of twelve essays. There is the radio broadcaster, who along with his wife, refused to be silenced even though it cost him his life after years of exile. A friend who witnessed two executions under Francois Duvalier's regime becomes a photojournalist so as not to forget.

And in the last essay, the tragedy  of January 12, 2010 is explored as Danticat describes the visits with friends and family and how she copes with the disaster; "their laughter fills me with more hope than the moment deserves. But this is really all I have come for. I have come to embrace them, the living, and I have come to honor the dead." She does this as her beloved city and country crumbles around her. A gripping and beautifully written collection of essays from an amazingly talented writer and one of my favorites. Highly recommend.

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