-- from Je suis un écrivain japonais by Dany Laferrière, translated by Edwidge Danticat, and appearing in her powerful testament about the writing life, Create Dangerously: the immigrant artist at work (2010)
Monday, September 27, 2010
Written in 2008
"I am surprised to see how much attention is paid to a writer's origins...I repatriated, without giving it a second thought, all the writers I read as a young man. Flaubert, Goethe, Whitman, Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, Cervantes, Kipling, Senghor, Césaire, Roumain, Amado, Diderot, they all lived in the same village that I did. Otherwise, what were they doing in my room? When, years later I myself became a writer and was asked, 'Are you a Haitian writer, a Caribbean writer or a Francophone writer?' I would always answer that I took the nationality of my reader, which means that when a Japanese reader reads my books, I immediately become a Japanese writer."