Thursday, January 14, 2010

Learn More

For anyone wanting to learn more about Haiti, the Stoop highly recommends Edwidge Danticat's Brother, I'm Dying.

Danticat is a Haitian-American author who moved to Brooklyn from Port-au-Prince @ age 12.

On one level, its a story about a very common immigrant experience: parents coming to America to start a better life, and while they set up shop in America, their children are raised in the old country by close relatives. When the parents are settled, the kids make the move to America.

The sacrifices made, & the bonding of the extended family are all on display, described by the author in an understated manner. Its a very effective writing style.

At its heart, Brother, I'm Dying is the story of two brothers: Danticat's father & uncle.

When Danticat was four, her parents moved to America. For the next eight years, she was raised by her uncle. Her uncle was an amazing man. He built his own church in Haiti, and did so among the unspeakable violence perpetrated by gangs-putting his own life on the line countless times.

Don't want to give away too many plot lines, so just know that Brother I'm Dying is a fascinating glimpse into pre- earthquake Haiti: the unspeakable level of poverty & unrelenting violence stand side by side with the amazing courage & dedication to family & community that is a common trait of the Haitian people.

Brother, I'm Dying is a worthy read and available everywhere.

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