On Our Shelves
The 20th anniversary edition of Edwidge Danticat's groundbreaking debut, now an established classic--revised and with a new introduction by the author, and including extensive bonus materials
At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished Haitian village to New York to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti—to the women who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence. In her stunning literary debut, Danticat evokes the wonder, terror, and heartache of her native Haiti—and the enduring strength of Haiti’s women—with vibrant imagery and narrative grace that bear witness to her people’s suffering and courage.
About the Author
Edwidge Danticat is the author of numerous books, including Brother, I’m Dying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a National Book Award finalist; Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; The Dew Breaker, winner of the inaugural Story Prize; The Farming of Bones, which won an American Book Award for fiction in 1999; and Claire of the Sea Light. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and elsewhere.
Praise for Breath, Eyes, Memory
Oprah Book Club Selection
"Vibrant, magic . . . Danticat's elegant, intricate tale wraps readers into the haunting life of a young Haitian girl."
—The Boston Globe
"Danticat's calm clarity of vision takes on the resonance of folk art . . . Extraordinarily successful."
—The New York Times Book Review
"A novel that rewards the reader again and again with small but exquisite and unforgettable epiphanies."
—Washington Post Book World
“Written in prose as clear as a bell, magical as a butterfly, and resonant as drum talk . . . An impressive debut.”
—Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies
“Reading Edwidge Danticat’s first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, for the first time in 2015 is a remarkable experience . . . It is clear in retrospect that this is a novel whose literary resonance has been profound, one that opened many doors for others—without it, would we have The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao?”
—Barnes and Noble Review
"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."
"A distinctive new voice with a sensitive insight into Haitian culture distinguishes this graceful debut novel . . . In simple, lyrical prose enriched by an elegiac tone and piquant observations, [Danticat] makes Sophie's confusion and guilt, her difficult assimilation into American culture and her eventual emotional liberation palpably clear."