author: Edwidge Danticat
The Dew Breaker
Coming March 2004 - Pre-Order Now
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more Edwidge Danticat books:
Breath, Eyes, Memory
Oprah Book Clubģ Selection, May 1998: "I come from a place where breath, eyes and memory are one, a place from which you carry your past like the hair on your head. Where women return to their children as butterflies or as tears in the eyes of the statues that their daughters pray to." The place is Haiti and the speaker is Sophie, the heroine of Edwidge Danticat's novel, "Breath, Eyes, Memory." Like her protagonist, Danticat is also Haitian; like her, she was raised in Haiti by an aunt until she came to the United States at age 12. Indeed, in her short stories, Danticat has often drawn on her background to fund her fiction, and she continues to do so in her debut novel.
The story begins in Haiti, on Mother's Day, when young Sophie discovers that she is about to leave the only home she has ever known with her Tante Atie in Croix-des-Rosets, Haiti, to go live with her mother in New York City. These early chapters in Haiti are lovely, subtly evoking the tender, painful relationship between the motherless child and the childless woman who feels honor bound to guard the natural mother's rights to the girl's affections above her own. Presented with a Mother's Day card, Tante Atie responds: "'It is for a mother, your mother.' She motioned me away with a wave of her hand. 'When it is Aunt's Day, you can make me one.'" Danticat also uses these pages to limn a vibrant portrait of life in Haiti from the cups of ginger tea and baskets of cassava bread served at community potlucks to the folk tales of a "people in Guinea who carry the sky on their heads."
Nine powerful stories about life under Haiti's dictatorships; the terrorism of the Tonton Macoutes; the slaughtering of hope and the resiliency of love; about those who fled to America to give their children a better life and those who stayed in the villages; about the linkage of generations of women through the magical tradition of storytelling.
The Farming of Bones
It is 1937, the Dominican side of the Haitian border. Amabelle, orphaned at the age of eight when her parents drowned, is a maid to the young wife of an army colonel. She has grown up in this household, a faithful servant. Sebastien is a field hand, an itinerant sugarcane cutter. They are Haitians, useful to the Dominicans but not really welcome. There are rumors that in other towns Haitians are being persecuted, even killed. But there are always rumors.
Amabelle loves Sebastien. He is handsome despite the sugarcane scars on his face, his calloused hands. She longs to become his wife and walk into their future. Instead, terror enfolds them. But the story does not end here: it begins.
The Farming of Bones is about love, fragility, barbarity, dignity, remembrance, and the only triumph possible for the persecuted: to endure.
Behind the Mountains
In award-winning author Edwidge Danticat's first novel for young readers, it is election time in Haiti. Bombs are going off in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and Celiane Esperance and her mother are nearly killed, giving them a fresh resolve to join Celiane's father in Brooklyn, New York. The harsh winter and concrete landscape are a shock to Celiane, who witnesses her parents' struggle to earn a living, her brother's uneasy adjustment to America, and her own encounters with learning difficulties and school violence.
After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel
In After the Dance, one of Haitiís most renowned daughters returns to her homeland, taking readers on a stunning, exquisitely rendered journey beyond the hedonistic surface of Carnival and into its deep heart.
Edwidge Danticat had long been scared off from Carnival by a loved one, who spun tales of people dislocating hips from gyrating with too much abandon, losing their voices from singing too loudly, going deaf from the clamor of immense speakers, and being punched, stabbed, pummeled, or fondled by other lustful revelers. Now an adult, she resolves to return and exorcise her Carnival demons. She spends the week before Carnival in the area around Jacmel, exploring the rolling hills and lush forests and meeting the people who live and die in them. During her journeys she traces the heroic and tragic history of the island, from French colonists and Haitian revolutionaries to American invaders and home-grown dictators. Danticat also introduces us to many of the performers, artists, and organizers who re-create the myths and legends that bring the Carnival festivities to life. When Carnival arrives, we watch as she goes from observer to participant and finally loses herself in the overwhelming embrace of the crowd.
Part travelogue, part memoir, this is a lyrical narrative of a writer rediscovering her country along with a part of herself. Itís also a wonderful introduction to Haitiís southern coast and to the true beauty of Carnival.
Butterfly's Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States
In four sections-Childhood, Migration, First Generation, and Return-the contributors to this anthology write powerfully, often hauntingly, of their lives in Haiti and the United States. Jean-Robert Cadet's description of his Haitian childhood as a restavec-a child slave-in Port-au-Prince contrasts with Dany Laferriere's account of a ten-year-old boy and his beloved grandmother in Petit-Gove. We read of Marie Helene Laforest's realization that while she was white in Haiti, in the United States she is black. Patricia Benoit tells us of a Haitian woman refugee in a detention center who has a simple need for a red dress-dignity. The reaction of a man who has married the woman he loves is the theme of Gary Pierre-Pierre's "The White Wife"; the feeling of alienation is explored in "Made Outside" by Francie Latour. The frustration of trying to help those who have remained in Haiti and of the do-gooders who do more for themselves than the Haitians is described in Babette Wainwright's "Do Something for Your Soul, Go to Haiti." The variations and permutations of the divided self of the Haitian emigrant are poignantly conveyed in this unique anthology.
The Dew Breaker
A Haitian Book Guide | Edwidge Danticat | Livres Haitiens | Liv Ayisyen
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