6) Edwidge Dandicat: Novelist
Best known for: “Breath, Eyes Memory;” ” Krik Krak;” “Brother, I’m Dying”
Why we love her: Dandicat, a Haitian immigrant raised in Brooklyn, is not only a brilliant writer, but also an outspoken advocate for the people of her home country. In 2009, she contributed to the documentary Poto Mitan: Haitian Women Pillars of the Global Economy, which explored the impact of globalization on five Haitian women of different ages.
Notable quotable: “I think Haiti is a place that suffers from so much neglect, that people only want to hear about it when it’s extreme. And that’s what they end up knowing about it.”