Born January 19, 1969 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
First Languages were French and Creole.
When she was 2, her father left Haiti to live in New York and her mother followed two years after him.
She was then raised by her uncle until she was 12 and moved to New York to join her parents.
She currently lives in Miami with her husband and two daughters.
Graduated from Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn, NY.
Earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in French Literature from Barnard College.
In 1993 received her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Brown University.
At age 14 she wrote “A Haitian-American Christmas; Cremace and Creole Theatre”
Books- 1994 Breathe, Eyes, Memory
1995 Krik? Krak!
1998 The Farming of Bones
2002 Behind the Mountains
2004 The Dew Breaker
2007 Brother, I’m Dying
Films- Poto Mitan and Girl Rising.
Short Stories- The Book of Dead Ghosts and Quality Control.
Upcoming Novels in 2015- Mama’s Nightingale, September and Untwine, October.
La récolte douce des larmes: roman. Trans. Jacques Chabert. Paris: Éditions 1018: Éditions Grasset et Fasquelle, 2001 (1998).
Le cri de l’oiseau rouge. Trans. Nicole Tisserand. Paris: Editions Pygmalion/Gerard Watelet, 1997.
Krik? Krak!: récits. Trans. Nicole Tisserand. Paris: Pocket, 1998. (Originally published: Paris: Éditions Pygmalion/Gérard Watelet, 1996. )
Neshimah, `enayim, zikaron. Trans. `Adi Yotam. Israel: Kineret, 2000.
Cosecha de Huesos. Trans. Marcelo Cohen. Buenos Aries, Argentina: Grupo Editorial Norma, 1999.
Krik? Krak! Trans. Ramón González Férriz. Barcelona : Lumen, 1999.
Palabra, Ojos, Memoria. Trans. Damián Alou. Barcelona: Ediciones del Bronce, 1998.
Informational Interview Quotes
“We need stories because when everything else is stripped away, that’s all we have left. I had been separated from my mother for 8 years and my father for 10 when I joined them in the United States. When I left Haiti, I don’t remember what was in my suitcase; I don’t remember what I brought with me. I do remember the stories I was told. I remember the life I had. That’s what I came with.”
“My uncle who helped raise me in Port-au-Prince was a minister; he was very active in the community. We witnessed all the cycles of life up close- on a Friday he might be presiding over a wedding, on a Saturday over a funeral and on a Sunday over a baptism. Being in church and watching my uncle, I learned early on that death is a part of life. We continue to have a connection with people even after they die. That was always a strong element of my childhood; there was a sense of continuity after life.”
By Vanessa Mejia
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