Rene Depestre, born in 1926, is one of the most important voices of Haitian literature. A peer of seminal figures like Aime Cesaire, Pablo Neruda, and Andre Breton, Depestre has engaged with the politics/aesthetics of negritude, social realism, and surrealism for more than half a century. Having lived through significant moments in Haitian and New World history--from the overthrow of Haitian dictator Elie Lescot in 1946, to the first Congress of Black Writers and Artists in Paris in 1956, to a struggle with Haiti's Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier in 1957, to a collaboration with Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara and a fraught relationship with Fidel Castro in the 1960s and '70s--Depestre is uniquely positioned to reflect on the extent to which the Americas and Europe are implicated in Haiti's past and present. He is the author of Hadriana in All My Dreams.
Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when she was twelve. She is the editor of Haiti Noir and Haiti Noir 2: The Classics, and author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory (an Oprah's Book Club selection), Krik? Krak! (a National Book Award finalist), The Farming of Bones (an American Book Award winner), and the novel-in-stories The Dew Breaker. She has also written several young adult novels and a travel narrative, After the Dance, A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel. Her memoir, Brother, I'm Dying, was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2007 winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She is a 2009 recipient of the John D. and Catherine MacArthur Foundation grant and she lives in Miami.