Joseph Dantica, one of two brothers at the heart of this family memoir, was a remarkable man: a Baptist minister who founded his own church and school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; a survivor of throat cancer who returned to the pulpit using a mechanical voice box; a loyal husband and family man who raised his niece Edwidge Danticat to the age of 12, when she joined her parents in Brooklyn. He intended to return and rebuild his church as soon as the fighting stopped. But to the Department of Homeland Security officers who examined him in Miami, his plea for temporary asylum meant he was simply another unlucky Haitian determined to slip through their fingers. How does a novelist, who trades in events filtered through imagination and memory, recreate an event so recent, so intimate and so outrageous, an attack on her own loyalties and sense of deepest belonging?
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Book by Edwidge Danticat. Read more Read less. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Everything Inside: Stories. Edwidge Danticat. Breath, Eyes, Memory. The Farming of Bones. The Dew Breaker. Claire of the Sea Light Vintage Contemporaries. What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Men We Reaped: A Memoir. Jesmyn Ward. Register a free business account. Don't have a Kindle? Customer reviews. How does Amazon calculate star ratings? The model takes into account factors including the age of a rating, whether the ratings are from verified purchasers, and factors that establish reviewer trustworthiness. Customer images. See all customer images. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Verified Purchase. Danticat recently gave a talk at the university where I work, and it was a very enjoyable evening.
I bought two of her books for my kindle when I got home. This is the first one I read. Having seen her made a difference, and by the end I felt like I knew her very well. She conveys emotions brilliantly without a lot of words, and it is easy to immerse yourself in her life in Haiti and all the troubles she recounts in that unfortunate place.
It is not about her, though. She tells of her father and his brother, who served as a surrogate father for her while her parents carved a life for their family out in Brooklyn. As her father's health declines, her uncle goes through a series of catastrophes out of his control, all of which could have been prevented by a shred of human decency and which point out how little has changed in how our country treats the lives of others.
I am excited to read the second book soon. This book was a mandatory read for my daughter in college. After she read Edwidge Danticat's memoir that she found to be compelling and enlightening of our government and the Haitian people's lives, I read this true story.
One of the themes of the book is death, but it is a love story told to the reader of the two men who raised her, her uncle and her father, both of whom are no longer living. One learns about Haitian customs and their way of life, and you will gain a whole new respect for their way of life on that island.
Besides these two wonderful family men, Danticat's other family members are very interesting, and their world is unlike anything we know. How our government in Miami treats refugees and her uncle is reprehensible. I recommend this book highly to teen students and adults. Danticat is now a famous writer who lives in Miami, and she deserves every success as she is a phenomenal story teller.
Edwidge Danticat is possibly the best American fiction writer of the younger generation. Her novels and story collections have cut a broad swath through the history of 20th century Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. Their virtues include lyric and narrative pleasures, a plainspoken and elegant voice, intelligence and intelligibility, and the bridging of two cultures separated by language and mutual misunderstanding.
With Brother, I'm Dying, Danticat expands upon the gift for nonfiction she first demonstrated in her book about carnival in Jacmel. This time, she tackles memoir by way of family history, a private story that stands in for hundreds of thousands of other private stories and has deep public policy implications.
Through the Dantica and Danticat families, we get an up-close-and-personal look at the terrors of Haitian history from Papa Doc to the present, alongside the beauties of place and people too often underexplored in newspaper accounts of Haiti.
The book's velocity increases toward the end, when Danticat's uncle is run out of Port-au-Prince by street gangs, only to encounter the surprisingly deadlier American immigration system. This part of the story is the most deeply felt section of a deeply felt book, and the reader wants to scream with outrage and the indignities Danticat's uncle suffers, and especially at the unwillingness of the immigration authorities to respond humanely to his illness, his difficulties in communicating, or his family's quite reasonable requests that he receive proper medical and legal attention.
I find myself grieving now, after finishing this book, and I want to know what I can do to make my country more compassionate. Certainly, Haitians receive shabbier treatment than almost any other ethnicity in our immigration and legal system, and, like Danticat, I find myself wondering why, and suspecting that it might be a manifestation of the worst prejudices we have not yet laid to rest.
It is true that books can be about virtuous things without being very good, but the urgency the reader feels about the book's subject owes much to the extraordinary power of the writing.
If Danticat were a writer who chose subject matter of a lesser intensity, I believe that more critics would write about the sentences, the structural choices, the wise management of information in her books.
That they do not is a testament to the power of the stories she chooses to tell, and her ability to get out of the way and give character and story center stage rather than the pyrotechnics of language which she is certainly capable of exhibiting.
Danticat's book chronicles the history of Haiti in the 20th and 21st centuries through relating her family's story. She brings the reality of US racism and colonialism to life through recounting the saga of her grandparents, aunts and uncles, and her parents. The relationship between her father and his brother is particularly poignant. Her spirit honors life, recognizing that it can be fraught with difficulties. It is lively and engaging.
Parts are wrapped in joy and humanity; others are wrapped in devastating evidence of the cruelty of war to the non-political citizenry. It is the account of Edwidge's family, part in civil-war-torn and occupied Haiti and part in New York and Miami.
The depth of cruelty of all sides in the wars and civil unrest in Haiti and in immigrant detention in Miami destroys any confidence you might have in humanity. The love, dedication, and family bonds coexist with pervasive inhuman cruelty. The narrative voice - Edwidge in first person - puts the reader into the story so completely it's hard to emerge.
You finish it with hope for the human spirit, but sadly convinced that there isn't a consistently compassionate God.
One person found this helpful. Brother I'm Dying is an impressive memoir paying homage to two admirable men. The devotion Edwidge imparts presenting the life and death of her uncle and father is well done. I became most fond of her voice early on, really appreciating the intermittent storytelling. One Standing Ovation. See all reviews from the United States. Top international reviews. This book will open a fort to the world of some of those "other".
Simply written, accessible and moving. Thank you for your feedback. Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again. This was a captivating read. Told very simply from the narrator's point of view, it gives a clear picture of the world of the narrator's current life and the world she was born into. An excellent description of the culture.
Very poignant story of the process of death, juxtaposed against the coming of new life. Written simply but starkly, this book keeps you engaged from beginning to end.
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NEA Big Read
Someone has to stay behind, to receive the letters and greet family members when they come back. MacArthur Foundation Fellow Edwidge Danticat was a toddler when her parents moved to Brooklyn for work and safety, leaving her with her aunt and uncle at home in Haiti until she could join her parents in the United States a decade later. Danticat was close with her uncle, a community leader and pastor who chose to remain in Haiti with his congregation. In this poignant memoir — a finalist for the National Book Award — Danticat is now grown and living in Miami, facing the death of her father and the birth of her first child while her uncle and his son are fleeing for their lives from the Haitian government and gang disputes that have destroyed his church. Born in the Haitian countryside, both brothers move to the big city of Port-au-Prince to work and raise families. Many years later, after Edwidge's father marries and begins a family, he decides to immigrate to the United States, while her Uncle Joseph—a community leader and pastor—chooses to remain in Haiti with his congregation. Edwidge, only two years old at the time of her father's departure, is left in the care of her Uncle Joseph and his wife, Tante Denise.
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Brother I'm Dying , published in by Alfred A. Knopf , is a family memoir by novelist Edwidge Danticat. Edwidge Danticat is a contemporary author of Haitian heritage. She was born on January 19, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti to a cab driver and a seamstress. By the time Danticat was four years of age, both of her parents had immigrated to New York City to seek the American Dream.
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