Date of Thesis

Spring 2012

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis


English - Literary Studies

First Advisor

Mara de Gennaro


Edwidge Danticat, Storytelling, Trauma, Testimony, Haiti, Literature, Postcolonial Literary Criticism


Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat evokes the Haitian tradition of storytelling in many of her novels and short story collections. A tradition formulated by vodou religion and the amalgamation of African cultures, storytelling acts to entertain, educate and enlighten the people of Haiti. Additionally, her novels are often written in the context of traumatic events in Haitian history. While Danticat's works have been studied with focus on their depiction of storytelling and of trauma, little has been done on the restorative power that storytelling provides. In this thesis, I seek to examine the potential for Danticat's characters and works to create narratives that build community, present testimony, and aid traumatized individuals in recovery.