The Art of DeathBy Edwidge Danticat
On a balmy July evening in Paris, critic, editor and writer John Freeman, of Freeman’s literary journal, moderated a discussion filled with light and laughter with authors Edwidge Danticat and Marie Darrieussecq. Hosted by the Shakespeare and Company bookshop, which has progressively become the go-to place for public events with international authors, Freeman opened by saying he had long wanted to introduce the Haitian-American Danticat and the French Darrieussecq to each other. He recently published them together in the new issue of Freeman’s, on the subject of Home. Freeman recounted that there are a startling number of similarities between them. They were both born in 1969, and they both experienced runaway successes with their first novels, Breath, Eyes, Memory, and Pig Tales. They both write about present absences, and people gone missing, frequently write about family, and, they both have books that came out this month. Freeman was referring to Danticat’s memoir The Art of Death and Marie Darrieussecq’s biography, Being Here Is Everything,The Life of Paula M. Becker , translated by Penny Hueston. He began the conversation by asking both authors where home was for them and why they both write about ghosts. Other subjects, such as the sea, identity and writing were touched on.