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Writer as Reader Workshops

Immigrant-Insider: Im/Possibilities of Belonging in Krik? Krak! and Drown

November 2, 2012

Hispaniola, site of the oldest European colonies in the New World, is home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The second-largest island in the Caribbean, Hispaniola is a single geographic space divided, despite shared histories, into distinct (and violently separated) places by national, cultural, and linguistic boundaries. This state of divisions within union is an old and yet rich metaphoric site for the exploration of who, what, and where we are in this contemporary global moment. Published in 1996 and 1997, respectively, Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat and Drown by Junot Díaz present two immigrant perspectives on the pressures and complexities of belonging, and the place of storytelling in that struggle. Studying these two collections together, along with short articles, we read and write in a variety of forms to explore aspects of the immigrant experience in contemporary America, as well as approaches to teaching each text. We also examine, through writing-to-learn activities, the issues and problems of belonging that these works bring to the fore. How do these natives of Hispaniola imagine their disparate and convergent homes? How do they reimagine the psychological architecture of the American Dream? What news do they have for students in their own struggles to belong and to understand? 

Texts: Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat (Soho Press, 1996) and Drown by Junot Díaz (Riverhead Books, 1996)

Workshop fee: $150 (includes morning coffee, lunch, and workshop materials)