The New York Times - Notable Books of 2013

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Claire of the Sea Light (2013)

Written by Edwidge Danticat

From the best-selling author of Brother, I’m Dying and The Dew Breaker: a stunning new work of fiction that brings us deep into the intertwined lives of a small seaside 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 Ville Rose, Haiti. Claire’s mother died in childbirth, and on each of her birthdays Claire is taken by her father, Nozias, to visit her mother’s grave. Nozias wonders if he should give away his young daughter to a local shopkeeper, who lost a child of her own, so that Claire can have a better life. 

But on the night of Claire’s seventh birthday, when at last he makes the wrenching decision to do so, she disappears. As Nozias and others look for her, painful secrets, haunting memories, and startling truths are unearthed among the community of men and women whose individual stories connect to Claire, to her parents, and to the town itself.

Told with piercing lyricism and the economy of a fable, Claire of the Sea Light is a tightly woven, breathtaking tapestry that explores what it means to be a parent, child, neighbor, lover, and friend, while revealing the mysterious bonds we share with the natural world and with one another. Embracing the magic and heartbreak of ordinary life, it is Edwidge Danticat’s most spellbinding, astonishing book yet. (Copyright © Knopf/Random House. All rights reserved.)

Source:  Penguin Random House Company..

Fiction writer Edwidge Danticat conjures the history of her native Haiti in award-winning short stories and novels. She is equally at home describing the immigrant experience—what she calls "dyaspora"—and the reality of life in Haiti today. 

Edwidge Danticat received a BA in French literature from Barnard College.She went on to complete her Master of Fine Arts degree at Brown University, where, as her thesis, she wrote Breath, Eyes, Memory.

Danticat has been writing ever since she was a small girl of nine. At the age of twenty-six, in 1995, she became a finalist for the National Book Award for Krik? Krak! Danticat, drawing on her experiences as a Haitian-American, writes of one of the most underrepresented cultures in American literature using a style which is both poetic and passionate. She also received the 1995 Pushcart Short Story Prize.

In 2004, Danticat's book, The Dew Breaker, was published. It was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle award plus, Danticat was awarded the Lannan Foundation Fellowship. In 2005, the book was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award and won the Story Prize for outstanding collection of short fiction.

Having received numerous awards for her short stories and novel, she is now widely considered to be one of the most talented young authors in the United States.

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