From the Book Jacket
: A brilliant, deeply moving work of fiction that explores the world of a "dew breaker"a torturera man whose brutal crimes in the country of his birth lie hidden beneath his new American reality.
We meet him late in his life. He is a quiet man, a husband and father, a hardworking barber, a kindly landlord to the men who live in a basement apartment in his home. He is a fixture in his Brooklyn neighborhood, recognizable by the terrifying scar on his face. As the book unfolds, moving seamlessly between Haiti in the 1960s and New York City today, we enter the lives of those around him: his devoted wife and rebellious daughter; his sometimes unsuspecting, sometimes apprehensive neighbors, tenants, and clients. And we meet some of his victims.
In the books powerful denouement, we return to the Haiti of the dew breakers...
Beyond the Book
Poor Haiti! Columbus found the island in 1492 and named it Hispanola.
Before long the native Arawak Indians were virtually extinct (Hayti
means mountainous land in the Arawak language). By the mid-17th
Century Haiti was colonized by the French and was a productive source of
cocoa, cotton, sugar cane and coffee. Demand for products created
demand for inexpensive labor so slaves were imported from West Africa.
By the late 18th century Haiti was one of the wealthiest regions in the
world and a comfortable place to be for the lucky few at the top of the
Haitian tree. However the problems that still effect Haiti today
were brewing. The slaves had brought with them the practice of
voodoo which clashed with...