Dany Laferrière

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Photo: Joseph Elfassi

“How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired” is the title of the English translation of Danny Laferriere’s first book, written originally in French.  It got attention in both languages.

In December 2013, Dany Laferriere was elected to the Academie francaise in one ballot.  He is the first Haitian, the first Quebecer, and the first Canadian to be granted the honour.

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1953, his full name is Windsor Kleber Laferriere.  His father, the one-time mayor of Port-au-Prince, was forced into exile, during the Duvalier regime.  Dany’s mother followed soon after.

Raised from the age of 4 by his grandmother in Petit Goave, Haiti, Dany became a journalist and broadcaster.  But like his parents, he too fled the country.  In 1976 when he received the news of the murder of a colleague, with whom he’d been working on a story, he left without a word of good-bye.

The Montreal-based writer was honoured with the prestigious Prix Medicis in 2009 for L’Enigme du Retour, which was translated into English in 2011 as ‘The Return’.  It is his 11th book and the story of his first trip back to his home in Haiti, in 33 years.  In June 2014 he was awarded the International Literature Award by the House of World Cultures for the same book.

In 2010, Dany Laferriere was in Haiti during the earthquake and chronicled his experience in one of his most recent books, ‘The World is Moving Around Me.’

 

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