Edwidge Danticat on her father André Mira Danticat
Edwidge Danticat: My father, when I was still in Haiti, used to have two jobs. He said, you know, when he was alone in New York, before my mother joined, he had two jobs. He used to work in a factory where they made handbags and things like that and then had a second job where he worked in a carwash, and he always said that he had one job to sustain his life in New York and one job—another job—to send money to Haiti. When my mother came, they both started working in the same factory and then, my father often told the stories that the day we were coming, my brother and me, he had to pick us up at the airport and he asked his boss if he could leave early and the boss said no. And of course, he had to get us so he quit and, from that day on, decided he wouldn't work for anybody else. And so he started driving a cab, what they then called a gypsy cab, where people used—basically had a private car that they put a partition in and rode as a cab, a private cab. So we were always in my father's cab, whether we were going to church or wherever we were going. And, when he was working, he was in the car. When he wasn't working, he was in the car. So, from that day that we came to the day he became sick and could no longer work again, he was driving what they call a gypsy cab.
Edwidge Danticat discusses her father André Mira Danticat for the book Brother, I'm Dying.