In an interview by The New Tropic, published Wednesday, March 23, 2016, Betsy Writer’s Room alumnus Edwidge Danticat discusses her new memoir, Brother, I’m Dying. In it, she speaks on her life-changing move from Haiti to America and on being an immigrant, daughter, and writer.
An excerpt is below. To read the full article, visit The New Tropic.
The New Tropic: Why do you write?
Danticat: In the beginning of Brother I’m Dying, I said I was writing this book because my uncle and father couldn’t. It was as much their story as mine. I was writing a memoir, so I had to be really honest — and part of that was being vulnerable. Some parts were very difficult to write, and I had to go to very painful places to recall these memories. I found writing them to be healing.
There’s also a certain power in literature. It gets under our skin in a way that can incite change, at least we can incite individual people to change.
I truly hope there’s that element in everything that I do. I don’t want to be preachy, but I also think that it’s important to have a sense of engagement in your work, and certainly with Brother, I’m Dying, when I started writing it I was so angry and thought I had to tell people about this.