Edwidge Danticat, the Haitian-American writer who has taught creative writing at New York University and the University of Miami, was named as the winner of the 2018 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. The Neustadt Prize was established in 1969 and can be awarded to poets, novelists, and playwrights. It is awarded by the magazine World Literature Today, which is housed at the University of Oklahoma. The award comes with a $50,000 prize and a silver replica of an eagle feather.
The prize committee stated that “Danticat experiments with form and structure and frequently references the literary history of Haiti and the Caribbean. She paints scenes of immigrant life in New York and Miami with fresh details and palpable familiarity.”
A native of Haiti, Danticat immigrated to Brooklyn at the age of 12. She is a graduate of Barnard College in New York City, where she majored in French literature. She holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Brown University.
Danticat published her first novel – Breath, Eyes Memory – in 1994. She has published a number of novels, short story collections, and young adult novels. Her latest work – The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story (Graywolf Press, 2017) – is a memoir on how Danticat dealt with her mother’s battle with cancer.