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Edwidge Danticat’s Letter To Miami

Trina Sargalski

This piece originally aired July 2011.

The radio show State of the Re:Union was in Miami last year recording an episode about the city. As the show travels around the country, producers invite locals to write letters to their city. Haitian-born author Edwidge Danticat was selected to pen an ode to the Magic City. Although others might have praised Miami’s weather, golden beaches and word-class hotels, Danticat focused her letter on a 15-year-old boy–Lukeson Lemorin–who was killed on the side of I-95. His mother was in jail and his father was deported to Haiti after being acquitted of a crime.

Although Miami is usually glamorized in TV shows like The Real Housewives of Miami or serves as a backdrop in Burn Notice, Danticat notes there are real stories about real people to be told. Miami is still the city of dreams for refugees. After all, 60% of its residents are foreign born.

Danticat is the author of Brother, I’m Dying and Breath, Eyes, Memory, selected by Oprah Winfrey as a featured title in her book club. She has also written short story collections and a young adult novel. She was the recipient of the prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award.”