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.
From the universally acclaimed author of Breath, Eyes, Memory and Krik? Krak!, 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 past, to his last, desperate act of violence, and to his first encounter with the woman who will offer him a form of redemptionalbeit imperfectthat will change him forever.
The Dew Breaker is a book of interconnected livesa book of love, remorse, and hope; of rebellions both personal and political; of the compromises we often make in order to move beyond the most intimate brushes with history. Unforgettable, deeply resonant, The Dew Breaker proves once more that in Edwidge Danticat we have a major American writer.
The Book of the Dead
My father is gone. Im slouched in a cast-aluminum chair across from two men, one the manager of the hotel where were staying and the other a policeman. Theyre both waiting for me to explain whats become of him, my father.
The hotel managermr. flavio salinas, the plaque on his office door readshas the most striking pair of chartreuse eyes Ive ever seen on a man with an island Spanish lilt to his voice.
The police officer, Officer Bo, is a baby-faced, short, white Floridian with a potbelly.
"Where are you and your daddy from, Ms. Bienaimé?" Officer Bo asks, doing the best he can with my last name. He does such a lousy job that, even though he and I and Salinas are the only people in Salinas office, at first I think hes talking to someone else.
I was born and raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and have never even been to my parents birthplace. Still, I answer "Haiti" because it ...
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 ...
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