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Timely talk

The appearance by Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat tonight as part of Just Buffalo Literary Center's Babel series will have an unexpected currency as the world continues to follow and respond to the earthquake in Japan and its tragic consequences.

Danticat, whose talk was originally advertised as focusing on her 1994 roman a clef "Breath, Eyes, Memory," has directed much of her writing over the past year to the devastating Haitian earthquake of January 2010, which claimed the lives of several of her family members, including a beloved cousin.

The writer moved to the United States when she was 12, but her work is deeply grounded in her Haitian homeland. When she was awarded a 2009 MacArthur Fellowship (the so-called "genius grant"), the foundation wrote of her "she evokes themes of family, isolation, and community that, while grounded in a specific cultural milieu, resonate with a wide range of audiences."

Danticat takes the stage at 8 tonight at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle. Tickets, available at the door, are $35; $25 discount for Buffalo & Erie County Public Library card holders; $10 for students.

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