[Blackstudies-l] Edwidge Danticat Recalls Past Experiences With Hurricanes In Native Haiti

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Fri Oct 14 06:39:25 EDT 2016


lisaparavisini posted: " An interview from NPR's All Things Considered.
NPR's Audie Cornish interviews Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat
about her article in The New Yorker, "Hurricane Matthew's Devastating Toll
in Haiti." She's been in touch with friends and family wh"
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<http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/> Edwidge Danticat
Recalls Past Experiences With Hurricanes In Native Haiti
<http://repeatingislands.com/2016/10/13/edwidge-danticat-recalls-past-experiences-with-hurricanes-in-native-haiti/>
by
lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>

[image: maxresdefault.jpg]

An interview from NPR's *All Things Considered*.
<http://www.npr.org/2016/10/07/497079304/award-winning-author-recalls-past-experiences-with-hurricanes-in-native-haiti>

NPR's Audie Cornish interviews Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat
about her article in *The New Yorker*, "Hurricane Matthew's Devastating
Toll in Haiti." She's been in touch with friends and family whose homes
were destroyed, and she reflects on how she and others will find ways to
help and and support them.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: The award winning Haitian-American writer Edwidge
Danticat has family and friends in Les Cayes. She hasn't heard from them
since the hurricane struck. But she wrote this week in the New Yorker about
her and her family's experiences with past hurricanes. And I asked her what
this one was like for her, looking at the disaster in Haiti from her home
in Miami.

EDWIDGE DANTICAT: Well, it's becoming, sadly, a rather familiar experience
because the Haitian community throughout the world experienced a similar
feeling after the earthquake, where we're sort of watching and couldn't
hear from our loved ones for a very long time. So it's very - it's
terrifying. It's - it's as if you have your heart being ripped out
imagining what the condition could be, especially since it hasn't been
fully assessed, and we don't know how many people have died. But we do know
that there's a lot of suffering now and that there will be a lot of
suffering later because people have lost so much.

CORNISH: You write about experiencing the hurricane season in 2005 from
Florida, but you also talk about the idea of being raised in the path of
such storms and living in their crosshairs. How have you reconciled with
that?

DANTICAT: Well, like everyone in Haiti right now and in years past who have
experienced hurricanes, you tend to think that it's something that happens
once in a while. It's not going to happen this year. And I felt that when I
was a child in Haiti, and I feel that now living in Florida, where we're
also in the crosshairs. I think back to sort of my whole journey through -
with hurricanes, and they seem to be getting just much more devastating for
the poorest places. And that's something, I think, we also have to address
in the conversations about poverty, development and also climate change.

CORNISH: And you talk about there being even a dilemma for Haitians who
live through these disasters and try and rebuild, in terms of how to even
rebuild.

DANTICAT: It's very challenging when you are living in a region where it is
both earthquake-prone and hurricane-prone. And, for example, the people in
my mother-in-law's area, they are now all - 20 people are now in one
concrete building that didn't fall down during the hurricane. But during an
earthquake, it might be a different story. So it's a very tough choice for
a lot of people.

CORNISH: You have written so much about Haiti and modern life in your
literature, but you also do focus on the economics of the island and what's
going on there and speaking out. Do you feel a certain responsibility,
given that people, in the U.S. especially, hear reporting on Haiti almost
exclusively in the context of disaster, whether it's ecological or
political?

DANTICAT: Well, I think we can't ignore, for example, what's happening
today. It's a very sad situation, but it's also sad to see that that's the
only time that people report on it. You know, slowly the attention will go
away. A lot of the suffering will continue, but we don't just suffer. We
also laugh, you know, we fall in love.

And one of the things I think also people should - should remember that
there's a kind of unity that people have, even within Haiti, that the first
rescuers of people in Haiti will be Haitians.

And we need support, but also people who support should support
organizations that are Haitian-led, that have been in Haiti for a long
time, so that we don't have the same cycle of people taking advantage and
then pushing Haitians aside.

CORNISH: Edwidge Danticat is an author. Thank you so much for speaking with
us, and I hope that your family and friends are safe.

DANTICAT: Thank you. Thank you very much for having me.
*lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>* |
October 13, 2016 at 10:31 pm | Categories: News
<http://repeatingislands.com/?cat=103> | URL: http://wp.me/psnTa-rmN

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