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Edwidge Danticat

The Haitian Diasporic Imaginary
Nadège T. Clitandre

BUY Cloth · 272 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813941868 · $65.00 · Nov 2018
BUY Ebook · 272 pp. · ISBN 9780813941882 · $65.00 · Nov 2018
BUY Paper · 272 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813941875 · $29.50 · Nov 2018

Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat is one of the most recognized writers today. Her debut novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, was an Oprah Book Club selection, and works such as Krik? Krak! and Brother, I’m Dying have earned her a MacArthur "genius" grant and National Book Award nominations. Yet despite international acclaim and the relevance of her writings to postcolonial, feminist, Caribbean, African diaspora, Haitian, literary, and global studies, Danticat’s work has not been the subject of a full-length interpretive literary analysis until now.

In Edwidge Danticat: The Haitian Diasporic Imaginary, Nadège T. Clitandre offers a comprehensive analysis of Danticat’s exploration of the dialogic relationship between nation and diaspora. Clitandre argues that Danticat—moving between novels, short stories, and essays—articulates a diasporic consciousness that acts as a form of social, political, and cultural transformation at the local and global level. Using the echo trope to approach Danticat’s narratives and subjects, Clitandre effectively navigates between the reality of diaspora and imaginative opportunities that diasporas produce. Ultimately, Clitandre calls for a reconstitution of nation through a diasporic imaginary that informs the way people who have experienced displacement view the world and imagine a more diverse, interconnected, and just future.


Edwidge Danticat offers the only full-length interpretive literary analysis of the corpus of one of the most important and celebrated Caribbean writers in the diaspora today. A wonderful critical contribution, the book offers a sustained and historicized analysis of the works of a renowned author while at the same time it successfully recalibrates our understanding of diaspora and postcolonial studies.

Carine M. Mardorossian, University at Buffalo, SUNY, author of Framing the Rape Victim: Gender and Agency Reconsidered

Cutting across disciplinary divides, Nadège Clitandre situates her erudite and intuitive reading of Edwidge Danticat's work within the larger framework of 'glocalization' that shaped the Haitian writer's diasporic consciousness. Wide-ranging and discerning, this book succeeds brilliantly in weaving together texts and contexts, biography and social analysis, critique and appreciation to yield a fine piece of scholarship destined to remain the gold standard on the subject for a long time.

Manfred B. Steger, Professor of Sociology, University of Hawai'i and Adjunct Professor of Global Studies, Western Sydney University

In her deeply nuanced study, Clitandre adopts an approach that resembles literarybiography, although her theoretical concerns release the apparent subject, Danticat,from the role of central character and authorial anchor.... Given its vast terrainand articulate interpretation of a major literary voice, Clitandre’s book is highlyoriginal and establishes a fresh model of scholarship in the still unexcavated silencesof Haitian literature.

The French Review

Edwidge Danticat: The Haitian Diasporic Imaginary constitutes a significantcontribution to the growing body of scholarship about the Haitian-Americanwriter Edwidge Danticat.... A productive approach to a fertile subject, it makes clear that there is, thrillingly, still much ground to cover.

New West Indian Guide

About the Author(s): 

Nadège T. Clitandre is Associate Professor of Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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