Children of the Sea. Author~Edwidge Danticat. Birth-Port-au-Prince, Haiti January 19, 1969 Emigration-Brooklyn, New York 1981 Study-Barnard College for French Literature 1990, Brown College for Fine Art 1993. Writing of the Author. Beginning, 1978 Breath, Eyes, Memory, 1994
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“<…>Krik? Krak!, chronicles the ups and downs of Haitian life. A complication of masterful storytelling, it reveals the harsh life under dictatorship, the reign of terror by the strong-arm forces, the Tonton Macoutes. The sometimes metaphorical stories are filled with tales of Haitian rituals and legends that resonate with truth and poetry.
Make no mistake, these lyrical stories are powerful and political works of art. Unlike Breath, Eyes, Memory, Danticat says ‘The stories are more of a collective biography. I know someone it happened to or might have happened to. It’s a lot of people’s stories.’”
“In many ways, each of these 10 stories (in Krik? Krak!) is part of the same tale. Women lose who and what they love to poverty, to violence, to politics, to ideals. The author’s deceptively artless storiesarenot of heroes but of survivors, of the impulse toward life and death and the urge to write and to tell in order not to forgot.”
“More than anything else, the storytelling of the young Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat has given the world honest and loving portraits of Haitian people, both on the island and in the United States. She has smashed the numbing stereotype created by a barrage of media accounts of Haitian poverty, misery, and death. <…>”
“One of Danticat’s strengths is her irony, subtle and penetrating.” <…> “While watching the young woman clutch her dead baby in the “Children of the Sea,” the narrator takes the time to record that her friend has passed university. Danticat shows here how desperately humankind clings to the myths and belief of civilized society.
Irony is further enhanced by the use of “krik krak” as the title. While that is the standard ending (sometimes opening) for a Caribbean story, the stories are usually anancy stories and folktales with moral lessons. Danticat’s nightmarish tales are a far cry from those, but he tales do carry a moral lesson – about the powerful and the powerless, about the failure of food to triumph over evil.”
domination of Haiti to
under the leadership of
for 19 years
“Papa Doc” became
Jean- Claud “Baby Doc”
-Divisions of race and class between blacks(about 95% of population) and mulattos(about 5%)
-Nearly all blacks speak Creole
-French is spoken mainly by the mulatto elite, and is the official language.
‧Home of Voodoo
-An animistic African religion that has been melded with Catholicism
-80% people believe in Catholicism and 5% people are Protestant;Voodoo is popular among the farming society
-Rituals involve dancing and drumming,spirit possessions and the occasional zombie.
-Iwa(the spirit worshipper is chosen to be ‘mounted’ by a spirit)
Parents Parents Madam
| | Roger
Kompe -- girl
(the radio six) (nameless)
boat people– Celianne, an old man
character nameless? Is there
any special meaning?
A：We can have much more
space to exercise our
Or her name only means to
One may lose one’s identification
on the boundless sea (p9, 11)
tragedy,calamity, brutality in the story?
ending of the story?What are the
attitudes toward the future?Do
they have hope?
Q：Why did the baby of Celianne,
Swiss,not cry at all on the boat?
--the hint of sex & painful childhood
Q:How do you feel about the butterflies in “Liang Chu” and in “Children of The Sea”?
Ex.I don’t even like seeing the sun—hopeless(p5); Miami is sunny—hopeful(p6)
--a hopeful place
--a spiritual support, most trusted friend, holiness
“Gone with the Wind”