Little Leslie’s Report

In these last several weeks I’ve discovered that some topics that I’ve been trying to write about and post to my blog are requiring more thought, more questions, and more research than I foresaw when I began. Not really a problem, except that my blogging schedule (did I really have one?) is a bit out of wack. The insistent voice of Little Leslie showed-up while I was scratching my head over this. “I could be like a guest blogger,” she said.

Little Leslie’s report:  “I went to the library to see someone who writes a lot of books. Her name is Edwidge Danticat. The way to say her name is Ed – weeszh. Soft on the end not hard. She is a brown lady. She was wearing a black dress and black stockings and black high heel shoes. She is from Haiti. Haiti is where Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable was born before it was named Haiti. They speak French in Haiti.

When Edwidge Danticat came on the stage she said Bon soir to everybody and some people said Bon soir and then she said Oh! there must be a lot of people here from home! Then she said that 2015 is her “young people year” because two books she wrote for young people are coming out this year. Those books are named Mama’s Nightingale and Untwine. See: she doesn’t just write books for grown-ups, and she has her own kids, too. This means you can be a Mommy and still write books if you want to.

She read out loud some of her book that’s for adults called Claire of the Sea Light. And she said she feels afraid to leave her people who she writes about in her stories. After she writes a story down then she doesn’t want the people in the story to feel like she just forgot about them and left them all by their self.

And Claire is only seven years old and she doesn’t have a Mommy. Her Mommy died. Her Daddy takes care of her but he wants a rich lady to adopt Claire so she will have a mother and good things that he is too poor to give her.

Did you know Edwidge Danticat wrote a story called Eight Days about kids who lived in Haiti when a earthquake came there in 2010? The earthquake shaked up their whole world and crumbled down their houses and schools and churches and people died. She wrote a story about it and read it out loud to kids whose house was gone because of the earthquake. And after the kids heard the story some of them wanted to say their own story.

Sometimes books does that. It makes people to feel that they have a story that is important too. It makes people remember their own times and feelings. And I wonder what those kids in Haiti are doing now? Are they safe? Are they sad?”

12 Comments

  1. Dear Leslie, Thank you for writing this. Your love of the stories shines through. I love the image of not wanting to leave the characters alone — thanks for sharing it with us. Keep on imagining!

      1. Yes, I can and do relate to this. I have recently drafted a scene for my amateur-detective character Daisy and her policeman bodyguard Mike, in which Daisy falls over during a snowstorm. I based it on a fall I took during the February blizzard. One of the first reactions I had, after the initial shock, was “I think I could give this to Daisy!” And so I did.

  2. What a wonderful gift to have the opportunity to listen to Edwidge Danticat read and share her stories and thoughts. She sounds most inspirational and kind. Claire of the Sea Light is on my list of books to read, I love seeing authors from lesser known literary traditions making it in the mainstream, they have so much to offer and we have so much to absorb and become aware of.

  3. Dear Little Leslie,

    It was so nice to hear your voice. It took me back to a happy time in my life and I am grateful. So excited that you met Ms. Danticat. She is a cheerleader for young ones who are unheard. I hope she inspires you to keep writing. Peace, happiness and giggles!

    Deidre

      1. I write about my journey as a spiritual being having a human experience of life. I read mostly non-fiction with two exceptions; Paulo Coelho and Octavia Butler. I start graduate school for a M.A. in Human Development. I imagine I’ll be doing a lot more reading. Sorry for the delay in my reply to your question.

        1. Congratulations on pursuing a MA in Human Development—yeah, your reading life is about to become intense! I hope you enjoy it, though. I have loved reading a number of Octavia Butler’s books; but have yet to read anything by Paulo Coelho. I have visited your website and viewed your beautiful jewelry. peace & blessings, Deidre.

  4. Oh, what a joy and honor to have seen Edwidge Danticat!

    I will seek out Eight Days. Haiti’s stories need to be heard, celebrated, mourned–witnessed. Danticat is such a tremendous advocate for her country.

    Lovely, moving post, Leslie!

    1. I’m glad you could enjoy this post, Julie. When a grown woman writes in the voice of a child, it is easy to mis-step. Oh! meeting Edwidge Danticat was such a highlight for me, and I actually didn’t know about any of her books for young people prior to this event. Thank you for your comments.

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