Edwidge Danticat Breath, Eyes, Memory

ISBN 13: 9780349106823

Breath, Eyes, Memory

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9780349106823: Breath, Eyes, Memory

When her mother leaves Haiti to find work in the US, Sophie is raised by her aunt. Their parting, years later, when her mother sends for her, is as wrenching as the reunion in New York. Though she barely knows her mother they both carry secrets from their homeland that will haunt them forever.

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Review:

Oprah Book Club® 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."

With Sophie's transition from a fairly happy existence with her aunt and grandmother in rural Haiti to life in New York with a mother she has never seen, Danticat's roots as a short-story writer become more evident; "Breath, Eyes, Memory" begins to read more like a collection of connected stories than a seamlessly evolved novel. In a couple of short chapters, Sophie arrives in New York, meets her mother, makes the acquaintance of her mother's new boyfriend, Marc, and discovers that she was the product of a rape when her mother was a teenager in Haiti. The novel then jumps several years ahead to Sophie's graduation from high school and her infatuation with an older man who lives next door. Unfortunately, this is also the point in the novel where Danticat begins to lay her themes on with a trowel instead of a brush: Sophie's mother becomes obsessed with protecting her daughter's virginity, going so far as to administer physical "tests" on a regular basis--testing which leads eventually to a rift in their relationship and to Sophie's struggle with her own sexuality. Soon the litany of victimization is flying thick and fast: female genital mutilation, incest, rape, frigidity, breast cancer, and abortion are the issues that arise in the final third of the novel, eventually drowning both fine writing and perceptive characterization under a deluge of angst.

Still, there is much to admire about "Breath, Eyes, Memory," and if at times the plot becomes overheated, Danticat's lyrical, vivid prose offers some real delight. If nothing else, this novel is sure to entice readers to look for Danticat's short stories--and possibly to sample other fiction from the West Indies as well. --Alix Wilber

From the Publisher:

"Danticat has created a stirring tale of life in two worlds: the spirit-rich land of her ancestry, whose painful themes work their way through lives across generational lines, and her adopted country, the United States, where a young immigrant girl must negotiate cold, often hostile terrain, even as she spars with painful demons of her past."--Emerge

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Edwidge Danticat
Editorial: Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom (2009)
ISBN 10: 0349106827 ISBN 13: 9780349106823
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 10
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Descripción Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. When her mother leaves Haiti to find work in the US, Sophie is raised by her aunt. Their parting, years later, when her mother sends for her, is as wrenching as the reunion in New York. Though she barely knows her mother they both carry secrets from their homeland that will haunt them forever. Nº de ref. de la librería AA29780349106823

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Descripción Abacus 1996-03-07, 1996. Estado de conservación: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Nº de ref. de la librería NU-GRD-00471301

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Edwidge Danticat
Editorial: Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom (2009)
ISBN 10: 0349106827 ISBN 13: 9780349106823
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 10
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The Book Depository US
(London, Reino Unido)
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Descripción Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. When her mother leaves Haiti to find work in the US, Sophie is raised by her aunt. Their parting, years later, when her mother sends for her, is as wrenching as the reunion in New York. Though she barely knows her mother they both carry secrets from their homeland that will haunt them forever. Nº de ref. de la librería AA29780349106823

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Edwidge Danticat
Editorial: Abacus (1996)
ISBN 10: 0349106827 ISBN 13: 9780349106823
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 6
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The Monster Bookshop
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Descripción Abacus, 1996. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. BRAND NEW ** SUPER FAST SHIPPING FROM UK WAREHOUSE ** 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Nº de ref. de la librería mon0000231159

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Edwidge Danticat
Editorial: Abacus (1996)
ISBN 10: 0349106827 ISBN 13: 9780349106823
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Descripción Abacus, 1996. Estado de conservación: New. 1996. Reprint. Paperback. When her mother leaves Haiti to find work in the US, Sophie is raised by her aunt. Their parting, years later, when her mother sends for her, is as wrenching as the reunion in New York. Though she barely knows her mother they both carry secrets from their homeland that will haunt them forever. Num Pages: 240 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 127 x 16. Weight in Grams: 164. . . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780349106823

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Edwidge Danticat
Editorial: Abacus (1996)
ISBN 10: 0349106827 ISBN 13: 9780349106823
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Descripción Abacus, 1996. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería GH9780349106823

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Edwidge Danticat
Editorial: Abacus
ISBN 10: 0349106827 ISBN 13: 9780349106823
Nuevos Tapa blanda Cantidad: 9
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(Olney, MD, Estados Unidos de America)
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Descripción Abacus. Estado de conservación: New. 1996. Reprint. Paperback. When her mother leaves Haiti to find work in the US, Sophie is raised by her aunt. Their parting, years later, when her mother sends for her, is as wrenching as the reunion in New York. Though she barely knows her mother they both carry secrets from their homeland that will haunt them forever. Num Pages: 240 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 127 x 16. Weight in Grams: 164. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9780349106823

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Edwidge Danticat
Editorial: Abacus
ISBN 10: 0349106827 ISBN 13: 9780349106823
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Descripción Abacus. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Nº de ref. de la librería B9780349106823

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Edwidge Danticat
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Descripción Estado de conservación: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0349106827. Nº de ref. de la librería ST0349106827

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Edwidge Danticat
ISBN 10: 0349106827 ISBN 13: 9780349106823
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Descripción Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Not Signed; When her mother leaves Haiti to find work in the US, Sophie is raised by her aunt. Their parting, years later, when her mother sends for her, is as wrenching as the reunion in New York. Though she barely knows her mother they both carry secrets from their homeland that will haunt them forever. book. Nº de ref. de la librería ria9780349106823_rkm

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