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The Dew Breakerby Edwidge Danticat
Synopses & Reviews
From the universally acclaimed author of Breath, Eyes, Memory and Krik? Krak!, a brilliant, deeply moving work of fiction that explores the world of a “dew breaker”—a torturer—a man whose brutal crimes in the country of his birth lie hidden beneath his new American reality.
We meet him late in his life. He is a quiet man, a husband and father, a hardworking barber, a kindly landlord to the men who live in a basement apartment in his home. He is a fixture in his Brooklyn neighborhood, recognizable by the terrifying scar on his face. As the book unfolds, moving seamlessly between Haiti in the 1960s and New York City today, we enter the lives of those around him: his devoted wife and rebellious daughter; his sometimes unsuspecting, sometimes apprehensive neighbors, tenants, and clients. And we meet some of his victims.
In the books powerful denouement, we return to the Haiti of the dew breakers past, to his last, desperate act of violence, and to his first encounter with the woman who will offer him a form of redemption—albeit imperfect—that will change him forever.
The Dew Breaker is a book of interconnected lives—a book of love, remorse, and hope; of rebellions both personal and political; of the compromises we often make in order to move beyond the most intimate brushes with history. Unforgettable, deeply resonant, The Dew Breaker proves once more that in Edwidge Danticat we have a major American writer.
"Danticat's voice is that of a seasoned veteran, her pages wise and saddened, struggling on 'the pendulum between regret and forgiveness.' Searing fiction with the lived-in feel of the best memoir." Kirkus Reviews
"Danticat's masterful depiction of the emotional and spiritual reverberations of tyranny and displacement reveals the intricate mesh of relationships that defines every life, and the burden of traumatic inheritances: the crimes and tragedies that one generation barely survives, the next must reconcile." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Breathtaking....With terrifying wit and flowered pungency, Edwidge Danticat has managed over the past 10 years to portray the torment of the Haitian people....In The Dew Breaker, Danticat has written a Haitian truth: prisoners all, even the jailers." Richard Eder, New York Times Book Review
"Riveting....Like a young Cassandra, gifted with the sight whether she wants it or not...Danticat leads her readers into the underworld. It's furnished like home." Kai Maristed, Los Angeles Times
From the acclaimed author of "Breath, Eyes, Memory" comes a powerful story of a man known as a "dew breaker," a Haitian torturer, whose past crimes lie beneath his new American reality.
About the Author
Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when she was twelve. She is the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; and The Farming of the Bones, an American Book Award winner. She is also the editor of The Butterflys Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States and The Beacon Best of 2000: Great Writing by Men and Women of All Colors and Cultures.
Table of Contents
The book of the dead — Seven — Water child — The book of miracles — Night talkers — The bridal seamtress — Monkey tails — The funeral singer — The dew breaker.
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