Edwidge Danticat Krik? Krak!


Edwidge Danticat

Krik? Krak!


Edwidge Danticat

Born in Port-au-Price, Haiti in 1969

Her parents left for America when she was an infant and she was raised by her Aunt and Uncle in


Went to America at the age of 12 and lived in a Haitian-American neighborhood in NY

Writing was her solace from her identity disorientation

Main Themes



Voudou (Religious Symbols)

Lineage and preservation of history

Passed mostly from mother to daughter through oral story telling

Danticat’s Style

Colloquial style

Story telling within the story

An oral story is usually explained to the main character of something happening in the past

This leads into the title “Krik? Krak!”

Historical/Religious symbols

As a post-colonial narrative tool, there is a mix of Catholicism and

Voudou and historic events that are not often explored outside of Haiti

Focusing on one family/character and how that event related to that person

“Children of the Sea”

Written as corresponding letters

The boy, a member of the liberation front, has fled Haiti on a boat

The girl has been stuck in Port-au-Prince, listening to the violence of the macoutes

The letters are never sent to one another

(Butterflies as symbols)

“Nineteen Thirty-Seven”

Josephine visits her mother in prison, recalling memories with her mother

Yearly pilgrimages to “Massacre River” on

Josephine’s birthday

The day that Dios Trujillo had ordered Haitians in the Dominican Republic be slaughtered

The lineage of the women whose mothers were killed in the Dominican Republic is preserved

“Sister…life is never lost, another one always comes up to replaced the last” (48).

“Night Women”

A prostitute practices her profession in the same room as her sleeping son

Her struggles as a mother trying to provide for her son and also shield him from the reality of her work

“Shadows shrink and spread over the lace curtain as my son slips into bed. I watch as he stretches from a little boy into the broom-size of a man, his height mounting the innocent fabric that splits our oneroom house into two spaces, two mats, two worlds” (83).

“Between the Pool and the


Marie finds a dead baby in the street and names it Rose

She cares for it to fill the void after her miscarriages

She tells the baby stories about her female ancestors

She pretends that she is not the servant in the foreigner’s household, but that it is hers.

She makes up a fantasy life with the man she had an affair with once and Rose as their child

The man she had an affair with finds her finally burying the baby and calls the gendarmes, accusing her of witchcraft and killing the baby for evil purposes.