LAWRENCE — Edwidge Danticat, author of "Breath, Eyes, Memory" and "Brother, I’m Dying," will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, in the Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union. Her lecture, "An Evening with Edwidge Danicat," is the spring installment of the Hall Center for the Humanities' 2012-2013 Humanities Lecture Series, and the final lecture of the year. The event is free and open to the public.
The Hall Center will also host a more informal public question-and-answer session the following morning. "A Conversation with Edwidge Danticat" will take place at 10 a.m. March 14 in the Hall Center Conference Hall. This event is also free and open to the public.
Danticat will read from her newest book, "Claire of the Sea Light," to be released this summer. She will also offer commentary on her process and on the book itself.
The book is a stunning new work of fiction that brings us deep into the intertwined lives of a small town where a little girl, the daughter of a fisherman, has gone missing. Claire Limyè Lanmè — Claire of the Sea Light — is an enchanting child born into love and tragedy in a seaside town in Haiti. Told with the piercing lyricism and economy of a fable, "Claire of the Sea Light" explores what it means to be a parent, child, neighbor, lover and friend, while indelibly revealing the mysterious connections we share with the natural world and with one another, amid the magic and heartbreak of ordinary life.
Edwidge Danticat is the American Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of several acclaimed works of fiction, including "Brother, I'm Dying" (2007), "Krik? Krak!" (1996), "Breath, Eyes, Memory" (1994) and "The Dew Breaker" (2004). In 2009, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of her significant contributions to literature.
Danticat, a native of Haiti, came to the United States when she was 12, and it is her moving and insightful depictions of Haiti that have brought the experience of Haitian immigration to the forefront of American literature. By writing about the themes of family, community and relationships, Danticat evokes familiar emotional territory while still conjuring specific experiences and sensations of Haitian culture.
Founded in 1947, the Humanities Lecture Series is the oldest continuing series at KU. More than 150 eminent scholars from around the world have participated in the program, including author Salman Rushdie, poet Gwendolyn Brooks and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Recent speakers have included Henry Louis Gates Jr., Mary Oliver and T.R. Reid. Shortly after the program’s inception, a lecture by one outstanding KU faculty member was added to the schedule. For information on the series, visit the Hall Center website.