Haitian-born Edwidge Danticat's themes of mother-daughter relationships have exotic rhythms that feel as magical as they do earthy. There is honesty in her storytelling of the Haitian diaspora, of divided families; revealing love, loss, and longing. Her novels and short stories are of bittersweet memories and quick, violent societal injustices. Danticat's award-winning writing (National Book Critics Circle, American Book Award, etc.) embodies the spice of the cooking pot, the vibrant colors of Haiti, and a sisterhood of women. In Breath, Eyes, Memory, a Haitian daughter is removed from the world she knows and understands to be sent to New York for a reunion with a mother she doesn't recall. They do their best to accommodate each other's love, but adherence to generational tradition endangers their delicate trust. Danticat's writing is alluring, almost tribal. Simple and complex, crushing and beautiful, Breathe, Eyes, Memory will linger long in your own memory. Recommended By Tracey T., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished Haitian village to New York to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti — to the women who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence. In her stunning literary debut, Danticat evokes the wonder, terror, and heartache of her native Haiti — and the enduring strength of Haiti’s women — with vibrant imagery and narrative grace that bear witness to her people’s suffering and courage.
"Vibrant, magic...Danticat's elegant, intricate tale wraps readers into the haunting life of a young Haitian girl." The Boston Globe
"Danticat's calm clarity of vision takes on the resonance of folk art....Extraordinarily successful." The New York Times Book Review
"A novel that rewards the reader again and again with small but exquisite and unforgettable epiphanies." Washington Post Book World
“Written in prose as clear as a bell, magical as a butterfly, and resonant as drum talk....An impressive debut.” Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies
"A distinctive new voice with a sensitive insight into Haitian culture distinguishes this graceful debut novel." Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Edwidge Danticat is the author of numerous books, including Brother, I’m Dying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a National Book Award finalist; Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; The Dew Breaker, winner of the inaugural Story Prize; and The Farming of Bones, which won an American Book Award for fiction in 1999. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and elsewhere.