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Brother, I'm Dyingby Edwidge Danticat
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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
"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
"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
In a deeply personal memoir, the best-selling author of Krik? Krak! describes her relationships with the two men closest to her--her father and his brother, Joseph, a charismatic pastor with whom she lived after her parents emigrated from Haiti to the U.S.--in a poignant story of family, love, grief, tragedy, hope, and triumph. 75,000 first printing.
From the age of four, award-winning writer Edwidge Danticat came to think of her uncle Joseph as her second father, when she was placed in his care after her parents left Haiti for America. And so she was both elated and saddened when, at twelve, she joined her parents and youngest brothers in New York City. As Edwidge made a life in a new country, adjusting to being far away from so many who she loved, she and her family continued to fear for the safety of those still in Haiti as the political situation deteriorated.
In 2004, they entered into a terrifying tale of good people caught up in events beyond their control. Brother I'm Dying is an astonishing true-life epic, told on an intimate scale by one of our finest writers.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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.
Table of Contents
1: He is my brother — Have you enjoyed your life? — Brother, I'm dying — What did the white man say? — Heartstrings, shoestrings — We're all dying — Good-bye — Giving birth — The return — One papa happy, one papa sad — Gypsy — 2: For adversity — Brother, I can speak — The angel of death and Father God — You're not a policeman — Brother, I leave you with a heavy heart — Beating the darkness — Hell — Limbo — No greater shame — Alien 27041999 — Tomorrow — Afflictions — Let the stars fall — Brother, I'll see you soon — Transition.
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