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Danticat Quotes & Sayings

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Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

People are just too hopeful, and sometimes hope is the biggest weapon of all to use against us. People will believe anything. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

After writing fiction for so long, I like the discovery element of nonfiction, in the sense that when you find the right information, it feels like gold. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I began my effort at improving my flight experiences by reading purposefully during my flights. My airplane reading would often be centered on themes. On some flights I would read only newspapers and magazines, catching up on one particular event. On other flights I would read a short novel, and finishing the entire book during the flight would give me a great thrill, as if I'd just flown a cross-Atlantic mission with Amelia Earhart. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

My models were oral, were storytellers. Like my grandmothers and my aunts. It's true, a lot of people in my life were not literate in a formal sense, but they were storytellers. So I had this experience of just watching somebody spin a tale off the top of her head. I loved that. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I want to figure out how people can go on with their lives when mine has changed so much. I want to relearn how to breathe without carrying this big, empty cave inside me. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Jephthah called together the men of Gilead and fought against Ephraim. The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, 'Let me cross over,' the men of Gilead asked him, 'Are you an Ephraimite?' If he replied, 'No,' they said, 'All right, say Shibboleth.' If he said, 'Sibboleth,' because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Fourty-thousand were killed at the time.
- Judges 12:4-6 — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I come from a place where breath, eyes, and memory are one, a place from which you carry your past like a hair on your head. Where women return to their children as butterflies or as tears in the eyes of the statues that their daughters pray to — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Junot Diaz

The Prisoner's Wife echoes Edwidge Danticat's Farming of the Bones in the urgency in which it reminds us of the possibility of love even amidst the ruins. This is a terrifying, heart-breaking and, ultimately, important book. — Junot Diaz

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

People say that things like this happen in slow motion, as though you suddenly become an astronaut in the antigravity chamber of your own life. This wasn't true for me. Things were speeding up instead, and I did my best to slow them down in my mind. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Napoleon had been fighting this army of slaves and free people in Haiti and it depleted his forces. And after the Revolution, when the French were driven out, they stopped and sold this big chunk of North America to the Americans for very little money. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

What I learned from my father and uncle, I learned out of sequence and in fragments. This is an attempt at cohesiveness, and at re-creating a few wondrous and terrible months when their lives and mine intersected in startling ways, forcing me to look forward and back at the same time. I am writing this only because they can't. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

If they come into a house and there is a son and a mother there, they hold a gun to their heads. They make the son sleeps with his mother. If it is a daughter and a father, they do the same thing. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I once heard an elder say that the dead who have no use for their words leave them as part of their children's inheritance. Proverbs, teeth suckings, obscenities, even grunts and moans once inserted in special places during conversations, all are passed along to the next heir. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

You may be surprised what we use our dreams to do, how we drape them over our sight and carry them like amulets to protect us from evil spells. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

It is the calm and silent waters that drown you. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

If there is a heaven, it should be like all the places you love or the places you've never been but wish you'd visited while you were still alive." -Giselle — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I remember reading an interview with a writer who said that in nonfiction if you have one lie it sort of messes it up. But in fiction the real details give you so much more credibility, because people do so much research just to write fiction. In fiction you're trying to recreate something lifelike. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

On some levels, you can also have this feeling that we are being duped, somehow. And that the world is at play for something you would understand more if it were pure ideology. It is a very strange time and also basic things are being taken away. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I'm happy to be part of this chorus of people who are trying to tell more complex stories about Haiti. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

To my grandmother, chagrin was a genuine physical disease. Like a hurt leg or a broken arm. To treat chagrin, you drank tea from leaves that only my grandmother and other old wise women could recognize. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

People who want alternative information have to try so hard to find it. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

The whole military structure in Haiti that existed until the early 1990s was put in place by the American occupation. At the top there were Southern white officers, who led an army that crushed the indigenous resistance - the cacos. A high-ranking U.S. officer said when he arrived, "To think these niggers speak French!" Later, Haitian officers attended the notorious School of the Americas at Fort Benning. The threat from the U.S. is something that is always hanging over people's heads: If we don't behave, we'll have occupation again. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

...women, brave as stars at dawn — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Madison Smartt Bell

Edwidge Danticat's prose has a Chekhovian simplicity
an ability to state the most urgent truths in a measured and patiently plain style that gathers a luminous energy as it moves inexorably forward. In this book she makes a strong case that art, for immigrants from countries where human rights and even survival are often in jeopardy, must be a vocation to witness if it is not to be an idle luxury. — Madison Smartt Bell

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Here, though, there is nothing. Nothing at all. The sky seems empty even when I am looking at the moon and stars. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

In the 1980s, when people were just beginning to talk about AIDS, there were just a few categories of those who were at high risk: homosexuals, hemophiliacs, heroin addicts, and Haitians. We were the only ones identified by nationality. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

The immigrant artist shares with all other artists the desire to interpret and possibly remake his or her own world. So though we may not be creating as dangerously as our forebears - though we are not risking torture, beatings, execution, though exile does not threaten us into perpetual silence - still, while we are at work bodies are littering the streets somewhere. People are buried under rubble somewhere. Mass graves are being dug somewhere. Survivors are living in makeshift tent cities and refugee camps somewhere, shielding their heads from the rain, closing their eyes, covering their ears, to shut out the sounds of military "aid" helicopters. And still, many are reading, and writing, quietly, quietly. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Creating these messes that go from administration to administration and then you swoop in and clean them up - with that heroic Delta force - people not realizing that they were always there but doing different things than what we see them doing at the moment. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Those who die young, they are cheated," she said. "Not cheated out of life, because life is a penance, but the young, they're cheated because they don't know it's coming. They don't have time to move closer, to return home. When you know you're going to die, you try to be near the bones of your own people. You don't even think you have bones when you're young, even when you break them, you don't believe you have them. But when you're old, they start reminding you they're there. They start turning to dust on you, even as you're walking here and there, going from place to place. And this is when you crave to be near the bones of your own people. My children never felt this. They had to look death in the face, even before they knew what it was. Just like you did, no? — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

People think that there is a country there that these people are only around when they are on CNN. I don't think that's limited to Haiti. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

There are many possible interpretations of what it means to create dangerously, and Albert Camus, like the poet Osip Mandelstam, suggests that it is creating as a revolt against silence, creating when both the creation and the reception, the writing and the reading, are dangerous undertakings, disobedience to a directive. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

These were our bedtime stories. Tales that haunted our parents and made them laugh at the same time. We never understood them until we were fully grown and they became our sole inheritance. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I also know there are timeless waters, endless seas, and lots of people in this world whose names don't matter to anyone but themselves. I look up at the sky and I see you there. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Also, people are not often aware of the way the United States' policies influence what happens in places like Haiti or El Salvador or Nicaragua. Or in Columbia right now. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

You thought that if you didn't tell the stories, the sky would fall on your head. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

We still have our people working in the cane fields in the Dominican Republic. People are still repatriated all the time from the Dominican Republic to Haiti. Some tell of being taken off buses because they looked Haitian, and their families have been in the Dominican Republic for generations. Haitian children born in the Dominican Republic still can't go to school and are forced to work in the sugarcane fields. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

We've had fiction from the time of cave drawings. I think fiction, storytelling, and narrative in general will always exist in some form. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Their Maker, she said, gives them the sky to carry because they are strong. These people do not know who they are, but if you see a lot of trouble in your life, it is because you were chosen to carry part of the sky on your head. -pg. 25 — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Instead I dreamt of walking out of the world, of spending all my time inside with no one to talk to, and no one to talk to me. All I wanted was a routine, a series of sterile acts that I could perform without dedication or effort, a life where everything was constantly the same, where every day passed exactly like the one before. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

She made sadness beautiful — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

It's not easy to start over in a new place,' he said. 'Exile is not for everyone. Someone has to stay behind, to receive the letters and greet family members when they come back. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

It's interesting to see people overcome things. Because if you didn't overcome, you wouldn't be writing it. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

It is perhaps the great discomfort of those trying to silence the world to discover that we have voices sealed inside our heads, voices that with each passing day, grow even louder than the clamor of the world outside. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Love is like the rain. It comes in a drizzle sometimes. Then it starts pouring and if you're not careful it will drown you. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

AIDS was something that was put upon us [as haitians], and we were immediately identified with it. That is unfair. That is unjust. I always say, "We are all people living with AIDS." It's not like you can avoid it. It's part of our world. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

At times I like it when he is just a deep echo, one utterance after another filling every crevice of the room, a voice that sounds like it's never been an infant's whimper, a boy's whisper, a young man's mumble, a voice that speaks as if every word it has ever uttered has always been and will always be for me. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I love the process of cracking the spine for the first time and slowly sinking into a book. That will soon seem old-fashioned, I'm sure, like the time of illuminated manuscripts. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

When that day of jubilee finally arrives, all of us will be there with you, walking, heads held high, crowns a-glitter, because we do have a right to be here. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

On that day so long ago, in the year nineteen hundred and thirty-seven, in the Massacre River, my mother did fly. Weighted down by my body inside hers, she leaped from Dominican soil into the water, and out again on the Haitian side of the river. She glowed red when she came out, blood clinging to her skin, which at that moment looked as though it were in flames. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

The past is like the hair on our head. I moved to New York when I was twelve, but you always have this feeling that wherever you come from, you physically leave it, but it doesn't leave you. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

It's hard to tell what people will do with the word and how they'll be circulating it but I think the storytellers and the stories themselves will always be there. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I very much love a physical book myself. I think people who have had this experience of also seeing a book come together, from sitting down and writing the first word, to holding the binding in your hand, we have a deeper sentimental attachment to it than others might. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

The women in your family have never lost touch with one another. Death is a path we take to meet on the other side. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Especially moments when things are very difficult and complicated for me and I am still trying to grasp what is happening and I am still trying to understand and to reach family back home. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

There was probably so much blood being shed in different parts of the country that morning, the blood of militiamen at the hands of former victims, the blood of former victims at the hands of militiamen battling for their lives. Maybe the water could be a cleansing offering to the gods on behalf of all the dead, no matter what their political leaning had been. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Someone has said that nations have interests, they don't have friends, and you see that over and over in U.S. policy. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

If a woman is worth remembering,' said my grandmother, 'there is no need to have her name carved in letters. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Anger is a wasted emotion. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

That has always been a strength of Haiti: Beyond crisis, it has beautiful art; it has beautiful music. But people have not heard about those as much as they heard about the coups and so forth. I always hope that the people who read me will want to learn more about Haiti. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Even when I think of writing fiction, it's being kind of a liar, a storyteller, a weaver, and there's that sense of how much of this is your life. The story is a way you unravel your life from behind a mask. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

No one will love you more than you love your pain. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

They say a girl becomes a woman when she loses her mother. You, child, were born a woman. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

There [Haiti] were also leaders like Jean-Jacques Dessalines, whose motto was, "Cut their heads off, burn their houses." — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I think it's hard to write a book about happiness because fiction requires tension and complication. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I was neither doing these people nor myself a favor by showing up when my heart wasn't in it. There were not getting the real me, the whole me, the true me. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I think daily that the country's future is being thrown to the wind. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

All anyone can hope for is just a tiny bit of love, like a drop in a cup if you can get it, or a waterfall, a flood, if you can get that too. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Wonderful thing about novels is that sometimes we read a novel and we know the person in the novel more than we know people in our own lives. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

More and more people are able to access information - thank goodness we have the Internet and if you are interested you can find things. Which is different than even 20 years ago. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I don't know what will happen to the physical book and what it will mean for authors. I worry whether it will mean people can still make their careers this way. Will whatever comes next allow people to be able to own their ideas and be able to take time to develop them? — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Life's hard in Haiti right now. And the hardest thing is that the future does not lie with one person. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I'm not saying Cubans don't deserve asylum, but if it is a national security issue, there are people who are coming from Cuba on hijacked airplanes. Why isn't that a national security issue? — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

They say behind mountains are more mountains. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

How do you even choose what to mend when so much has already been destroyed? How could she think, she asked herself, that she could revive or save anything? — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

My head fills up with images of past gatherings there: pep rallies, award ceremonies, talent shows, speaker days, career days, holiday pageants, all things that Isabelle and I attended together, even while sitting in different parts of the auditorium with our own sets of friends. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Life was neither something you defended by hiding nor surrendered calmly on other people's terms, but something you lived bravely, out in the open, and that if you had to lose it, you should lose it on your own terms. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

When people think about this religion, they'll say "voodoo" this and "voodoo" that in the way the Hollywood movies show it: the sticking of pins in dolls. It's very different than Vodou - which is a religion that comes to Haiti from our ancestors in Africa. I want to differentiate it from the stereotypical, sensationalized view that we see of the religion. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

For the majority of the people it is a difficult place to live. That's a reality that we can't ignore. But there is also great beauty to it. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

No, women like you don't write. They carve onion sculptures and potato statues. They sit in dark corners and braid their hair in new shapes and twists in order to control the stiffness, the unruliness, the rebelliousness. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

For so long this had been my life, but it was all in the past. Now we all had to try and find the future. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Perhaps there had been joy for them in finding that sugar could be made from blood. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I think it's hard for an outsider to capture the flavor of a community and all its nuances, so ultimately Haitian-Americans need to start sharing intimate accounts of their stories. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I wish I could've done more for her, but some sorrows were simply too individual to share. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

We live now in a global culture where anything that happens in a place that's 90 minutes from your shores really affects you. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Even from those very first hours, Claire was an easy and quiet child. It was as though she already knew that she could not afford to be picky or make demands. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

On some level, now, we are joining the larger world and realizing that we are connected with people in these very scary ways, sometimes. What happened recently in Spain affects us here and brings questions up. It is too bad that people have to be shaken up in that way. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I am very timid about speaking for the collective. I can say what I see, I can say what I've heard, I can say what I feel, but I can't speak for - no one can speak for - 10 million people, and it takes away something from them if you make yourself their voice. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Our faith is a mishmash of many things. We believe in family, in music and art, but we mostly believe in each other" -Giselle — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

There is something human about the way people react to and identify with suffering. There's a lot more empathy in the world than we perhaps realize. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

And the fact that Haiti was occupied for 19 years by the United States, from 1915 to 1934. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

That night, I slept hugging my secret. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

As immigrant artists for whom so much has been sacrificed, so many dreams have been deferred, we already doubt so much. Who do we think we are? We think we are people who risked not existing at all. People who might have had a mother and father killed, either by a government or nature, even before we were born. Some of us think we are accidents of literacy. I do. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

You have all these people in the city and everything has become centralized. If you live outside the city and you need a birth certificate or some official paper from the government, you have to travel to the city. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

The girl she said, I didn't tell you this because it was a small thing, but little girls, they leave their hearts at home when they walk outside. Hearts are so precious. They don't want to lose them. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I would hate for people to generalize about every Haitian from something that one Haitian did, or a group of Haitians did. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

Sometimes we mask ourselves to further reveal ourselves, and it's always been connected to me with being a writer: We tell lies to tell a greater truth. The story is a mask; the characters you create are masks. That appeals to me. Aside from that, too, in the carnival the masks were beautiful, and offered a vision of Haitian creativity. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

This is why she wanted to make pictures, to have something to leave behind even after she was gone, something that showed what she had observed in a way that no one else had and no one else would after her. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

I think it is important to reach people through arts and literature, because then you establish a connection that's not an instant crisis. — Edwidge Danticat

Danticat Quotes By Donna Everhart

Often when we read, especially when we are younger, we are looking for a mirror, echoes of our voices, people who might look and sound like us.... Write for the twelve-year-old girl, who is looking at a mirror, at a window.

~Edwidge DanticatDonna Everhart

Danticat Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

The soldiers can come and do with us what they want. That makes papa feel weak, she says. He gets angry when he feels weak. — Edwidge Danticat