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Selected Shorts: Edwidge Danticat: Haiti/New York

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Sunday, September 09, 2012

A contemporary writer’s two worlds are tenderly revealed, in this program that features works by the prodigiously talented Haitian-American writer, Edwidge Danticat. 

First, “Claire of the Sea Light,” a tender and heartrending father/daughter story was her own contribution to the anthology, Haiti Noir, which she edited.  The volume is part of an intriguing series, published by Akashic Books, which collects mystery and crime writing from the great cities of the world.   The reader is Anika Noni Rose, who won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical “Caroline, Or Change,” and who is featured in the television miniseries “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.”

SHORTS literary commentator Hannah Tinti observes, “Edwidge Danticat is a master storyteller, carefully weaving past and present together to tell this heartbreaking tale of a father and daughter. I think Haiti Noir, which includes this story, sheds an important light on the complex history of Haiti and the personal struggles of the people, especially after the earthquake in 2010.”

A lighter side of Danticat is revealed in “New York Day Women,” a term she uses to describe women from the Haitian community who travel into Manhattan to perform childcare and housekeeping services.  Her mother was one of these women, and Danticat accidentally encounters her one day, leading this separate life.  The impulse to follow her is irresistible, and results in some remarkable discoveries about a woman she thought she knew intimately.  The reader is film and television actor Laurine Towler.

The musical interlude is Benjamin Britten’s opera “Peter Grimes.”  The SELECTED SHORTS theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”

For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, please visit http://www.symphonyspace.org/genres/seriesPage.php?seriesId=71&genreId=4

We’re interested in your response to these programs.  Please comment on this site or visit www.selectedshorts.org

And for more thoughts on the stories in SHORTS, check out literary commentator Hannah Tinti’s site at http://hannahtinti.com

(This program first aired during our 2010 season.)

Comments [1]

Samantha Klein from Albany, NY

The first story, Clair of the Sea Light, haunts me. Of all the wonderful stories read on Selected Shorts, this is the one that comes to mind most often and still bring tears. Achingly beautiful and beautifully read.

Apr. 24 2013 06:25 PM

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