Ecology, Spirituality, and Cosmology in Edwidge Danticat: Crossroads as Ritual employs nature, literary tradition, and the cosmogram to examine Danticat's fiction as textual sites imbued with ritual and conducive for healing and clarifying Africana diasporic consciousness.
Joyce White is assistant professor of Gullah Geechee Literature and Cultures at Georgia Southern University.
Introduction: Home is Where the Healing Is: Ritual Pathways to Home
Chapter 1: They Did Not Come Alone: Towards a Theoretical Framework
Chapter 2: At the Crossroads: Rituals of Death in Danticat’s The Dew Breaker
Chapter 3: Lót Bót Dlo (The Other Side of The Water): Examining the Cosmogram in Danticat’s The Farming of Bones
Chapter 4: A Seat at The Table: Constructing Identity in Danticat’s Claire of the Sea Light
Chapter 5: “May These Words Bring Wings to Your Feet”: Re-membering Ancestral Healing in Breath, Eyes, Memory
Conclusion: Existing Beyond the Gaze: Finding Home in the Works of Edwidge Danticat
"As an extended exploration of the cosmogram in four of Edwidge Danticat’s best-known novels, Ecology, Spirituality, and Cosmology in Edwidge Danticat: Crossroads as Ritual makes a powerful case that Black life in diaspora is a recursive, cyclical, cosmologically unique experience singular to African peoples. Through a critical study of the narrative and spiritual functions of crossroads, pathways, bridges, passages, and intersections, Joyce White brilliantly illuminates how Danticat creates in her fictional worlds both figurative and literal homelands for Africana women, whose radical spiritual healing communities enable diasporic peoples to survive and thrive. White’s insistence on the importance of Africana spiritual traditions to Black women’s existence in diaspora is always illuminating and inspiring, shedding light on too-often neglected discourses of healing and community that have always animated Black life in diaspora. White’s book is a must-read for scholars interested in Danticat’s extensive treatment of magic, cosmology, and spirituality in lives of Africana diasporic women."
"This book, framing Danticat’s works as a project of cosmological reclamation, accomplishes a deep examination of how the crossroads—as structure and metaphor—inform the author’s rendering of the embodied, geographic, and spiritual dimensions of diaspora. White’s important work underscores ritual as central to engendering African survivals in the Americas."
"Ecology, Spirituality, and Cosmology in Edwidge Danticat: Crossroads as Ritual grounds Danticat's storytelling in a cosmos of diasporic blackness, wherein home, place, and space are conjurings of a longer lineage of diasporic imaginaries. White's insightful work attends to the 'borders and boundaries' affixed to diasporic writers and instead calls for interpretations that foreground the potentiality and possibilities of Africana Diasporic consciousness. Through a cosmographic framework, White brilliantly bridges the transtopographies that transverse Danticat's literary works while venerating the sacred rooted within Danticat's ontological and textual landscapes."