National Endowment for the Arts - The Big Read
The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

by Dinaw Mengestu

The stories he invented himself he told with particular delight. They all began in the same way, with the same lighthearted tone, with a small wave of the hand, as if the world were being brushed to the sideā€¦

Danticat and Her Other Works

"I knew from very, very early in my life that I wanted to tell stories."
—Edwidge Danticat

In addition to Brother, I'm Dying, Edwidge Danticat has written several novels, young adult fiction, a collection of short stories, a children's book, and several essays for The New Yorker and The New York Times, among many other publications. Danticat's writing—whether fiction or nonfiction—is united by its dedication to Haitian peoples and culture, drawing heavily on her own experience as an American immigrant from Haiti.

audio clip At age 25, Danticat wrote her first book, Breath, Eyes, Memory, which chronicles four generations of Haitian women struggling to understand each other in the context of one violent act. Danticat's second book Krik? Krak! was a finalist for the 1995 National Book Award. A series of stories focused on the difficulty of everyday life under a dictatorship, Krik? Krak! reflects the Haitian tradition of passing stories down orally from one generation to the next. Her third novel, The Dew Breaker, explores the lives of Haitian dissidents who suffered under a torturer transformed into a quiet man living in New York City with his wife and children. After publishing The Dew Breaker, Danticat became a key figure in the national and international literary scene, representing Haiti and the immigrant journey.

audio clip Danticat's latest work of nonfiction, Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, examines the challenges of creating art after exile. A combination of memoir and essays, Create Dangerously wrestles with the complex responsibilities of artists who represent countries burdened by trauma and great loss. In 2013, she published her first work of fiction in nearly ten years, Claire of the Sea Light, which was named a New York Times Book Review and Washington Post Notable Book of the Year.

Additional Reading/Listening

Selected Articles by Edwidge Danticat

Selected Works by Edwidge Danticat

  • Claire of the Sea Light, 2013
  • Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, 2011
  • The Dew Breaker, 2004
  • Behind the Mountains, 2002
  • The Farming of Bones, 1998
  • Krik? Krak!, 1995
  • Breath, Eyes, Memory, 1994
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