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Brother, I'm Dying

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Brother, I'm Dying Cover

ISBN13: 9781400041152
ISBN10: 1400041155
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Awards

2007 National Book Critics Circle Award Winner for Autobiography

Review-A-Day

"Acclaimed writer Edwidge Danticat has woven a spellbinding tale that could be yet another best-selling novel, only this time the story is her own. Her memoir revolves around the lives of her father, who left Haiti for New York City in 1971, and his elder brother Joseph, who stayed behind." Helen Zia, Ms. Magazine (read the entire Ms. Magazine review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the best-selling author of The Dew Breaker, a major work of nonfiction: a powerfully moving family story that centers around the men closest to her heart — her father, Mira, and his older brother, Joseph.

From the age of four, Edwidge Danticat came to think of her uncle Joseph, a charismatic pastor, as her "second father," when she was placed in his care after her parents left Haiti for a better life in America. Listening to his sermons, sharing coconut-flavored ices on their walks through town, roaming through the house that held together many members of a colorful extended family, Edwidge grew profoundly attached to Joseph. He was the man who "knew all the verses for love."

And so she experiences a jumble of emotions when, at twelve, she joins her parents in New York City. She is at last reunited with her two youngest brothers, and with her mother and father, whom she has struggled to remember. But she must also leave behind Joseph and the only home she's ever known.

Edwidge tells of making a new life in a new country while fearing for the safety of those still in Haiti as the political situation deteriorates. But Brother I'm Dying soon becomes a terrifying tale of good people caught up in events beyond their control. Late in 2004, his life threatened by an angry mob, forced to flee his church, the frail, eighty-one-year-old Joseph makes his way to Miami, where he thinks he will be safe. Instead, he is detained by U.S. Customs, held by the Department of Homeland Security, brutally imprisoned, and dead within days. It was a story that made headlines around the world. His brother, Mira, will soon join him in death, but not before he holds hope in his arms: Edwidge's firstborn, who will bear his name — and the family's stories, both joyous and tragic — into the next generation.

Told with tremendous feeling, this is a true-life epic on an intimate scale: a deeply affecting story of home and family — of two men's lives and deaths, and of a daughter's great love for them both.

Review:

"Imagine being a child whose parents live in a faraway place that won't allow you to visit them, or them to come to you. Imagine being a parent who learns that his child across the ocean was beaten at school and who is unable to protect or comfort her. Imagine meeting your younger siblings for the first time when you are almost a teenager. Imagine saying goodbye to the only family you've known for... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Edwidge Danticat's Brother, I'm Dying will break your heart but put it back together through the healing magic of her clear, compassionate, beautiful writing. Danticat draws us into her family, to share its joys and also its journey to the heart of darkness. But she also shows us the way back: we become brothers and sisters in an even larger family, the human family, bonded together by the power of her storytelling. This is what the best writing can do. And why we need storytellers like her more than ever." Julia Alvarez

Review:

"Memoir is a witness which swears to tell the truth. Memoir is the magic of love and remembrance. Magic is Edwidge Danticat who taps on her keyboard to the rhythm of angels." Nikki Giovanni

Review:

"Wonderful. Danticat's moving tale of two remarkable brothers — her own father and her beloved Uncle Joseph, separated for thirty years — is as compelling and richly told as her fiction. Politically charged and sadly unforgettable, their stories will lodge themselves in your heart." Cristina García

Review:

"Exceptionally gripping....[A] deeply felt memoir rife with historical drama...." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[A] memoir whose cleareyed prose and unflinching adherence to the facts conceal an astringent undercurrent of melancholy, a mixture of homesickness and homelessness." New York Times

Review:

"[E]minently readable and emotionally nuanced....[O]ffer[s] a glimpse into the sources of Danticat's vivid imagery and characters." Minneapolis Star Tribune

Review:

"There is no guarantee that a distinguished fiction writer will produce a successful memoir. Yet Edwidge Danticat...brings the same lucid storytelling to Brother, I'm Dying." Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Edwidge Danticat is the author of numerous books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner; and The Dew Breaker, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and winner of the first Story Prize. She lives in Miami with her husband and daughter.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

jedah.mayberry, May 8, 2010 (view all comments by jedah.mayberry)
I too am a writer – or, as yet unpublished, an aspiring writer. I have reached the point in my endeavors to contact an author whose work has inspired me or has in some other way touched me. I have enjoyed a great many of your books. I today finished Brother I’m Dying. My sister and I lost our father to cancer just over a month ago. My wife thought the read would be of some comfort. I have since added it to my list of tough yet necessary reads, alongside A Lesson Before Dying by Earnest J. Gaines.

One side of my father’s family emigrated from Guyana (or British Guiana as his grandparents had known it); my wife’s family is from the Bahamas. While the storyline touches on many things, in part paying tribute to your Caribbean heritage, imparting insight into the Haitian/Haitian-American experience as do many of your works. Brother I’m Dying largely centers on the loss of your father, your uncle. Today it is that shared experience of losing someone so dear, two fathers according to the account so eloquently portrayed in the book, which inspired me to write.

It is not part of my culture, a native tongue inherited from one or the other of my parents. Enfin, je parle francais. Pa creole, je regrette. Mais francais, un peu. En votre langue, je tiens a vous dire – Merci, beaucoup.

Kind Regards,
Jedah Mayberry
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(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
bookluver, September 29, 2007 (view all comments by bookluver)
Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat is a moving memoir. The people in Haiti go through their struggles with the desire to survive without loss of honesty.

Edwidge Danticat interweaves her family tree into the story. While her father and uncle deal with aging and death, Mrs. Danticat never stops caring for uncle and father while at the same time expecting her first baby.

Also, the reader experiences an immigrant's first feelings and their treatment when they step on the shores of Miami. The answer, for Haitians, is astounding.

To the very last page, Brother, I'm Dying is magnificent.
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(19 of 31 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400041152
Author:
Danticat, Edwidge
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
General
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Authors, American
Subject:
Emigration and immigration
Subject:
Authors, American -- 20th century.
Subject:
General Biography
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20070904
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.65 x 5.9 x 1.05 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Brother, I'm Dying Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9781400041152 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Acclaimed writer Edwidge Danticat has woven a spellbinding tale that could be yet another best-selling novel, only this time the story is her own. Her memoir revolves around the lives of her father, who left Haiti for New York City in 1971, and his elder brother Joseph, who stayed behind." (read the entire Ms. Magazine review)
"Review" by , "Edwidge Danticat's Brother, I'm Dying will break your heart but put it back together through the healing magic of her clear, compassionate, beautiful writing. Danticat draws us into her family, to share its joys and also its journey to the heart of darkness. But she also shows us the way back: we become brothers and sisters in an even larger family, the human family, bonded together by the power of her storytelling. This is what the best writing can do. And why we need storytellers like her more than ever."
"Review" by , "Memoir is a witness which swears to tell the truth. Memoir is the magic of love and remembrance. Magic is Edwidge Danticat who taps on her keyboard to the rhythm of angels."
"Review" by , "Wonderful. Danticat's moving tale of two remarkable brothers — her own father and her beloved Uncle Joseph, separated for thirty years — is as compelling and richly told as her fiction. Politically charged and sadly unforgettable, their stories will lodge themselves in your heart."
"Review" by , "Exceptionally gripping....[A] deeply felt memoir rife with historical drama...."
"Review" by , "[A] memoir whose cleareyed prose and unflinching adherence to the facts conceal an astringent undercurrent of melancholy, a mixture of homesickness and homelessness."
"Review" by , "[E]minently readable and emotionally nuanced....[O]ffer[s] a glimpse into the sources of Danticat's vivid imagery and characters."
"Review" by , "There is no guarantee that a distinguished fiction writer will produce a successful memoir. Yet Edwidge Danticat...brings the same lucid storytelling to Brother, I'm Dying."
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