Edwidge Danticat was announced the 25th laureate of the renowned Neustadt International Prize for Literature 2018 on November 9, 2017.
The Neustadt International Prize for Literature is one of the very few international prizes for which poets, novelists and playwrights are equally eligible. The prize awarded in alternating years with the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature recognizes outstanding literary merit in literature worldwide. It is awarded not for any one work, but for an entire body of work with winners awarded $50,000, a replica of an eagle feather cast in silver and a certificate. Previous winners of the two awards for children and adults include Meshack Asare, Mia Couto, Nuruddin Farah, Kamau Brathwaite, and Gabriel García Márquez.
World Literature Today, the University of Oklahoma’s award-winning magazine of international literature and culture, announced that Edwidge Danticat is the 25th laureate of the renowned Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Danticat is the author of stories, essays, travel commentary, film scripts, YA novels, and four novels. In addition to a Pushcart Prize, a National Book Critics Circle Award, the BOCAS Prize, and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, Danticat won a MacArthur Fellowship and holds two honorary degrees.
Her debut novel Breath, Eyes, Memory (Soho, 1994; Vintage, 1998) was an Oprah’s Book Club selection in 1998.
The prize committee stated that “Danticat experiments with form and structure and frequently references the literary history of Haiti and the Caribbean. She paints scenes of immigrant life in New York and Miami with fresh details and palpable familiarity.”
Achy Obejas nominated Danticat and was one of eight jurors on the 2018 Neustadt Prize panel. In her nominating statement, Obejas comments that Danticat’s work “addresses how the specter of history haunts the unresolved present” and undermines the future unless people find a way to redeem it.
P.S. We here at JamesMurua.com like talking about African artists and as a Haitian American she qualifies. #JustSaying