In Conversation

Manuel Mathieu with Edwidge Danticat

The Power Plant and the 41st edition of the Toronto International Festival of Authors co-present this conversation between Haitian-born, Montreal-based artist Manuel Mathieu and award-winning Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat. Mathieu’s painterly work reflects on the fraught history of Haiti, on diasporic identity, and on the writings of Frantz Fanon. Danticat’s novels and non-fiction works explore autobiographical threads relating to her experience of Haiti’s dual dictatorships, which forced her family to migrate to the United States. The two will engage in conversation; the program will conclude with questions and answers from the audience. 

Edwidge Danticat is the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, Krik? Krak!, Claire of the Sea Light, as well as The Art of Death, a National Books Critics Circle finalist. She is also the editor of The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States, The Beacon Best of 2000, Haiti Noir, Haiti Noir 2. She has written seven books for young adults and children, Anacaona, Behind the Mountains, Eight Days, The Last Mapou, Mama’s Nightingale, Untwine, and My Mommy Medicine, as well as a travel narrative, After the Dance, and a collection of essays, Create Dangerously. Her memoir, Brother, I’m Dying, was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2008 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She is a 2009 MacArthur Fellow, a 2018 Ford Foundation Art of Change fellow, a 2018 winner of the Neudstadt Prize, a 2019 winner of the Saint Louis Literary Award, a 2020 United States Artist Fellow and a 2020 winner of the Vilceck Prize. Her most recent book, Everything Inside: Stories, is a winner of the Bocas Fiction Prize, The Story Prize, and the National Books Critics Circle Fiction Prize.

Manuel Mathieu (b. 1986 in Port-au-Prince, lives and works in Montreal). He received his BFA from Université du Québec à Montréal and his MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London. Mathieu was an artist in residence at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (2019-20), and the Pamela Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida residency program, Sonoma CA (2019). Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2020); HDM Gallery, Beijing (2019); The Armory Show, New York (2018); Tiwani Contemporary, London (2017); and Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2015). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions held in Canada, the United States, and Europe, including Fondation Phi, Montreal (2020); Pérez Art Museum Miami (2019); Frieze London (2018); Art Basel (2017); and Grand Palais, Paris (2014). Mathieu was one of the artists recognized by the 2020 Sobey Art Award.