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Award-Winning Author Edwidge Danticat to Give Sojourner Truth Lecture, Feb. 18

Book cover of "Krik! Krak!" by Edwidge Danticat

Award-winning author Edwidge Danticat will give the Claremont Colleges’ 2009-2010 Sojourner Truth Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. The event, “An Evening with Edwidge Danticat,” is free, open to the public and will be held in the Pomona College Smith Campus Center, Rose Hills Theatre (170 E. Sixth St., Claremont).

Starting her writing career at the age of nine, Ms. Danticat's work has been influenced by the Haitian practice of storytelling. Themes in her work include overcoming poverty, powerlessness among women, family relations and traditions, and the sacrifices and torment that can accompany life in exile.

Her first book, Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994), became an Oprah selection in 1998. Her next book, Krik? Krak!, was a finalist for the 1996 National Book Award. That same year, she received the Pushcart Short Story Prize. Her novel The Farming of Bones (1998) received the American Book Award. Among her more recent books are Brother, I’m Dying (2007), which received the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the anthology The Butterfly's Way: Voices from the Haitian Diaspora in the United States. In 2009, Ms. Danticat was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, more commonly known as the "genius award.”

Danticat was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and moved to the U.S. when she was twelve. She earned a degree in French Literature from Barnard College, where she won the 1995 Woman of Achievement Award, and her MFA from Brown University.

The Sojourner Truth Lectureship, established in 1983, honors the achievements and contributions of outstanding African-American women in the United States. Conceived and administered by faculty in the Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies, the lectureship is sponsored by The Claremont Colleges: Pomona, Scripps, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer Colleges and Claremont Graduate University. Past recipients of the Sojourner Truth Lectureship have included Maya Angelou, Octavia Butler, Elizabeth Catlett, Samella Lewis, Agnes Moreland Jackson, Mae Jemison, Cynthia McKinney, Constance L. Rice, and Dr. Nawal Nour.

Established in 1969, the Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies offers a rich program of multidisciplinary teaching and scholarship to all students at The Claremont Colleges. Its mission is to examine through various academic disciplines the experiences of people of African heritage worldwide.

For more information on this lecture, call the Claremont Colleges Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies at (909) 607-3070.