Author Edwidge Danticat wins $20,000 Story Prize

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NEW YORK (AP) — Edwidge Danticat had an eventful Wednesday, praised for work both past and current.

Hours after the American Academy of Arts and Letters announced that she was among this year’s new members of the venerable honor society, Danticat became the first two-time winner of the Story Prize, a $20,000 award for short fiction. She was presented the Story Prize on Wednesday night for her collection “Everything Inside,” set in part in Miami and her native Haiti. In 2005, she won the inaugural Story Prize for “The Dew Breaker.”

“It is something to see a writer whose previous work is already canonical, write a story collection with the fierce desperation and love usually seen in first books,” Story Prize judges wrote in their citation. “But Danticat is not one of our regular writers, she is a harking angel. She comes to tell us that the world is new, again and again, and that stories will not lose their urgency, their necessity.”

The other finalists Wednesday night were Kali Fajardo-Anstine for “Sabrina & Corina” and Zadie Smith for “Grand Union.”

Danticat is also known for the memoir “Brother, I’m Dying” and for the novel “Breath, Eyes, Memory,” which Oprah Winfrey selected for her book club in 1998.

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