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Brother, I'm Dying


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About the Author

Edwidge Danticat is the author of numerous books, including Claire of the Sea Light, a New York Times notable book; Brother, I'm Dying, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner and National Book Award finalist; Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner; and The Dew Breaker, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and winner of the inaugural Story Prize. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She lives in Miami.


The uncle who raised novelist Danticat until she could join her parents in America tried to come here himself in 2004. But he was detained by customs officials and died in prison. Unbelievably, this is nonfiction. With an eight-city tour. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Dandicat's moving memoir focuses on her Uncle Joseph, who raised her in Haiti, and her father, who was reunited with her in the United States when she was 12. Robin Miles brings the two brothers to life. Portraying Dandicat's father, Mira, as soft-spoken and wise, she sagely decides not to try to imitate the mechanical voice box he uses after losing his larynx to throat cancer. The women sound much more alike, but Dandicat's mother and many aunts have relatively minor roles. The exception is Dandicat herself, the powerful narrator whom Miles portrays as a calm presence in the midst of political and familial tragedies. Miles's Creole sounds fluid and authentic, and listeners will have no trouble understanding the characters' French accents (Creole phrases are followed by translations). Miles uses the same pace throughout, but she might have given more pep to Joseph's breathtaking escape from Haiti. Miles is a perfect fit for Dandicat's books-she previously read Breath, Eyes, Memory. She artfully immerses listeners in Dandicat's world and will leave them wanting more. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcov. (Reviews, July 16). (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Adult/High School-A family memoir, this book is sad, but it's a worthy and touching read. The author's parents moved from Haiti to New York in 1976, leaving the two eldest children in the care of an aunt and uncle until they earned enough money to relocate the entire family. Brother vividly describes the political unrest of Haiti in the 1970s and '80s, and Danticat details the various elections and upheavals. It is clear that the family must leave, but they maintain much affection for their home country. Their eventual immigration to the United States is difficult and near impossible for some, like Uncle Joseph, who at age 81 and suffering multiple health problems is treated like a political prisoner at the hands of immigration officials. While the book often shifts between various periods of the family history, Danticat narrates the story from 2005. Her father is dying, and their relationship holds the narrative together. While the birth of her daughter provides the author with hope, Brother may prove to be a little too grim for some teens. Others, however, will appreciate its realism.-Jennifer Waters, Red Deer Public Library, Alberta, Canada Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Remarkable. . . . A fierce, haunting book about exile and loss and family love." --The New York Times

"With a storyteller's magnetic force . . . [Danticat] gives voice to an attachment too deep for words." --O, The Oprah Magazine "Powerful. . . . Danticat employs the charms of a storyteller and the authority of a witness to evoke the political forces and personal sacrifices behind her parents' journey to this country and her uncle's decision to stay behind." --The Washington Post Book World "Heartwrenching, intimate. . . . Through the seemingly effortless grace of Danticat's words, a family's tragedy is transformed into a promise of collective hope." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Her power of language is so great, and at the same time, so subtle, that even those that cannot see her or understand her stories will be transformed by her impact on their world." --Walter Mosley

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