edwidge danticat honored with literature award

February 7, 2020

What with T***p adding more African countries to the travel ban, a New York City ICE agent shooting a person in the face this week for attempting to interrupt an arrest, and the UK with all of its Brexiting, it has been a particularly discouraging time for immigrants around the world. In the face of all this turmoil comes some good news from acclaimed Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat, who was awarded the Vilcek Foundation’s Literature prize and the $100,000 that goes with it. 

Danticat’s talent defies genre. She has penned novels like like Breath, Eyes, Memory; The Farming of Bones; Brother, I’m Dying and more. And her genre-spanning work is no stranger to acclaim, having already won the National Books Critics Circle Award, an American Book Award, and a MacArthur Genius Grant. Now add to that list the 2020 Vilcek Foundation Prize in Literature, which celebrates and raises “awareness of immigrant contributions and fostering appreciation of the arts and sciences.” 

Of this award, Danticat told the Vilcek Foundation, “The power of literature is that it allows us to step into someone else’s skin. If you allow yourself that privilege, to imagine their experience as your own, I think you can experience the full extent of your humanity.”