Edwidge Danticat was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1969. Her parents separately moved to the United States in the next several years, and then Danticat followed them there at the age of 12. Danticat grew up speaking French and Creole and she spoke no English upon moving to the United States. However, after only two years, she began writing in English and now is an accomplished writer of English short stories and novels. Her work has been translated into several languages including Korean, Italian, German, Spanish and Swedish.
Her first published writing in English became the inspiration for her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory. She has also published a collection of short stories, Krik? Krak! , and an additional novel The Farming of the Bones. Her own life experiences have provided background and inspiration for her writing. Danticat's short stories and novels focus on recurring themes such as migration, sexuality, gender and history.
Danticat's recent first person fiction novel is Behind the Mountains. The subject matter of this book also stems from Danticat's own childhood and adaptation to a new life in Brooklyn, New York. The protagonist, Celiane Esperance and her family escape a politically unstable and impoverished Haiti. After years of separation, Celiane reunites with her family in Brooklyn, where she is shocked by life in the new city.
Danticat currently lives in New York and teaches Creative Writing at New York University.