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Exile and Post-1946 Haitian LiteratureAlexis, Depestre, Ollivier, Laferriere, Danticat$
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Martin Munro

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310799

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313080

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Edwidge Danticat Home Is Where the Hurt Is

Edwidge Danticat Home Is Where the Hurt Is

(p.206) Chapter Five Edwidge Danticat Home Is Where the Hurt Is
Exile and Post-1946 Haitian Literature
Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the work of Edwidge Danticat. It shows how Danticat remains connected to Haiti through an explicit commitment to the nation's social and political fate, and a belief both in the importance of diaspora, and in the idea of a collective identity that unites all exiled Haitians. Considering in depth the implications for a largely francophone tradition of Danticat's use of the English language, and drawing on her Breath, Eyes, Memory, it is argued that that, rather than undermining her own ‘authenticity’ as a Haitian author, Danticat effectively frees herself from the rigid language-identity equation that characterizes most literary traditions, and which has become an orthodoxy in much postcolonial theory. Danticat's The Farming of Bones is also a far ‘straighter’ rewriting or revisitation of another Haitian classic: Alexis' Compère Général Soleil. The chapter traces the similarities between the two narratives, and draws on trauma theory in its analysis of the returning exiles' troubled reintegration into postmassacre Haitian life.

Keywords:   Haitian exiles, diaspora, collective identity, trauma theory, reintegration

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