[BOOKS] ✴ Breath, Eyes, Memory ✻ Edwidge Danticat – Anguillais.us

Breath, Eyes, Memory At An Astonishingly Young Age, Edwidge Danticat Has Become One Of Our Most Celebrated New Novelists, A Writer Who Evokes The Wonder, Terror, And Heartache Of Her Native Haiti And The Enduring Strength Of Haiti S Women With A Vibrant Imagery And Narrative Grace That Bear Witness To Her People S Suffering And Courage At The Age Of Twelve, Sophie Caco Is Sent From Her Impoverished Village Of Croix Des Rosets 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 A Novel That Bears Witness To The Traditions, Suffering, And Wisdom Of An Entire People

[BOOKS] ✴ Breath, Eyes, Memory  ✻ Edwidge Danticat – Anguillais.us
  • Paperback
  • 234 pages
  • Breath, Eyes, Memory
  • Edwidge Danticat
  • English
  • 06 February 2018
  • 037570504X

    10 thoughts on “[BOOKS] ✴ Breath, Eyes, Memory ✻ Edwidge Danticat – Anguillais.us


  1. says:

    I come from a place where breath, eyes, and memory are one, a place from which you carry your past like the hair on your head This book is really quite sad The characters are weighed down with such misery and heartache as they shoulder the burden of nearly unbearable memories These memories are carried within the women of this story and are passed through the generations where they persist and wreak havoc on the psyches of both mothers and daughters Sophie has been raised in Haiti by her TaI come from a place where breath, eyes, and memory are one, a place from which you carry your past like the hair on your head This book is really quite sad The characters are weighed down with such misery and heartache as they shoulder the burden of nearly unbearable memories These memories are carried within the women of this story and are passed through the generations where they persist and wreak havoc on the psyches of both mothers and daughters Sophie has been raised in Haiti by her Tante Atie for the first twelve years of her life Sophie s mother, carrying a shame she could not bear, fled to New York to escape a past that haunts her Sophie has led a reasonably happy life for a child living in a poor country rife with political unrest and violenceWe come from a place, where in one instant, you can lose your father and all your other dreamsWhen her mother finally sends for Sophie, Sophie does not want to leave but has no choice She does not know this mother and she will be leaving behind the one she has always thought of as her mother Not only that, she is also faced with the challenges of immigrating to a foreign countryMy mother said it was important that I learn English quickly Otherwise, the American students would make fun of me or, even worse, beat meSophie will need to adapt quickly, and learn about her mother and her mother s demons that torment her dreams each night But when pain begets further pain in a relentless cycle, Sophie will need to return to her roots to discover the truth and begin the slow process of healing.What I loved most about Breath, Eyes, Memory were some of the lyrical descriptions of Haiti and its people Danticat does this so well The bonds between women sisters, mothers, daughters, grandmothers are also explored and are fascinating, complex and often heartbreaking Certain traditions that are passed on are simply shocking and perplexing What I found to be lacking in this novel, however, was a feeling of connection to any of these women The dialogue felt abrupt and distant The closeness I expected to feel with these women was just not there although I did feel compassion for them in general There were some big jumps in time that may have caused the character development to suffer The sense of a cohesive plot was missing at times as well In some ways, aside from the very heavy and unsettling topics within these pages, I got the sense this waslike a YA novel Not that I d recommend this to a young adult because I personally would not Perhaps it was the relatively young age of the author at the time this was written that came through to me Nevertheless, she is still to be applauded for taking on these tough themes and I do think she has much to offer I enjoyed The Farming of Bonesthan this and would recommend that if you have not yet read anything by Edwidge Danticat This one gets 2.5 stars rounded up


  2. says:

    The tale is not a tale unless I tell Let the words bring wings to our feet Edwidge Danticat, Breath, Eyes, Memory My first read for Black History Month, Breath, Eyes, Memory is Edwidge Danticat s first novel and I loved it This writer introduced me to Haitian literature over a decade ago and I feel strong feelings of kinship with her.This was a beautiful and moving story about a young Haitian girl named Sophia, whose mother leaves her with an aunt in Haiti as a baby and moves to New The tale is not a tale unless I tell Let the words bring wings to our feet Edwidge Danticat, Breath, Eyes, Memory My first read for Black History Month, Breath, Eyes, Memory is Edwidge Danticat s first novel and I loved it This writer introduced me to Haitian literature over a decade ago and I feel strong feelings of kinship with her.This was a beautiful and moving story about a young Haitian girl named Sophia, whose mother leaves her with an aunt in Haiti as a baby and moves to New York to escape bad memories and get a better life for herself When Sophia is finally reunited with her mother at the age of 12, she is a girl wise beyond her years, trying to navigate herself in an unfamiliar environment, using a strange language, with a mother she doesn t really know Night had just fallen Lights glowed everywhere A long string of cars sped along the highway, each like a single diamond on a very long bracelet I was struck by that description How would the busy streets of NYC look to a young girl freshly arrived from the Third World I ve heard far too many stories of families separated by immigration We hear about families reuniting but rarely do we hear about the difficulties they face trying to re adapt to each other and make up for lost time Danticat brings these issues to the forefront.Despite depicting some of Haiti s violent history, it was a hopeful book, one infused with Haitian thought and mentality, mostly through stories, songs and the grandmother s wisdom, the grandmother, who like mine, has been preparing for her own funeral for years The part about the grandmother definitely touched me it hit very close to home.The descriptions of Haiti were evocative it felt like Danticat was drawing from her own memories there The mid morning sky looked like an old quilt, with long bands of red and indigo stretching their way past drifting clouds Like everything else, eventually even the rainbows disappeared I know this book will speak a lot to a lot of immigrants, especially those who question where home is Being stuck between two worlds as well as experiencing the generation gap is a double whammy for many immigrant kids Old practices continue to take place in their new home however, with a new westernized mentality it can all be hard to take The unbelievable stress a young immigrant faces having to live up to high expectations, after all their family sacrificed so much for them to have a better life is something that is a real issue If you make something of yourself in life, we will all succeed You can raise our heads Reading this made me dwell on how much the world is changing My first language is different from my mother s and my grandparents , I can t even communicate with some of my relatives because we don t have a language in common My relatives are spread out all across the globe Changes beget changes and questions about identity and the value of tradition abound


  3. says:

    Immediately prioritized this book by a Haitian American writer after reading about the shithole countries comment, and I m so glad I did There s so much going on artistically, it leaves you in awe even as it breaks your heart.Sophie grows up in Haiti with her aunt until age 12, when she is sent to New York City to live with her mother It would be hard enough to live between two places, never having a true sense of home, but Sophie s life is further shadowed by the painful knowledge of why he Immediately prioritized this book by a Haitian American writer after reading about the shithole countries comment, and I m so glad I did There s so much going on artistically, it leaves you in awe even as it breaks your heart.Sophie grows up in Haiti with her aunt until age 12, when she is sent to New York City to live with her mother It would be hard enough to live between two places, never having a true sense of home, but Sophie s life is further shadowed by the painful knowledge of why her mother couldn t raise her which I won t spoil here Danticat explores how the legacy of violence and hurt are inherited by each new generation, and the herculean effort of will required to break those patterns.Even though thematically this is a tough book to read, the prose is spare and the pages fly I never could decide if I wanted to speed up so the pain would be over, or if I wanted to slow down and let myself feel the impact This is the kind of book you could read over and over and still not catch everything Danticat is doing, but I don t think my heart could handle multiple close readings.At the back of my paperback copy, the publisher includes a note from Danticat addressed to her character, Sophie, in which she says she feels compelled to explain that not all children growing up in Haiti suffer exactly like Sophie does Apparently some readers of the book have not understood that one character s experiences from one fictional work cannot be generalized over the actual human population of an entire country It created uncomfortable resonance when, after reading her eloquent response to the shithole comment, it occurred to me that Danticat is still, all these years later, having to explain herself to an audience of ignorants.More book recommendations by me at www.readingwithhippos.com


  4. says:

    This is a quiet but beautiful book While it may not shimmer with literary acrobatics, its prose is clear as water, and the narrative structure literally tugs the reader through it Had I the time, I could have read this in one sitting It s that effortless And yes, Danticat was only 24 when she wrote it At times I wanted Danticat to take me deeper into the complex lives of this multi generational circle of women and the unspoken pasts that haunt them Many of the 35 chapters are brief and or f This is a quiet but beautiful book While it may not shimmer with literary acrobatics, its prose is clear as water, and the narrative structure literally tugs the reader through it Had I the time, I could have read this in one sitting It s that effortless And yes, Danticat was only 24 when she wrote it At times I wanted Danticat to take me deeper into the complex lives of this multi generational circle of women and the unspoken pasts that haunt them Many of the 35 chapters are brief and or fragmentary The plot drives on when I wanted it to linger Yet by the final third of the novel, I appreciated her sparse, crisp style This is not a book heavy on style much of it is dialog, for instance Instead this novel is a celebration of storytelling and the bonds both fractured and sound between mothers and daughters Breath, Eyes, Memory delves into issues of regret and anger and forgiveness and letting go the ghosts of our pasts and healing from hurt And her characters are so brilliantly drawn, the message so profound Stick with it to the end, and you ll be rewarded.I couldn t help but think of other great novels while reading this one Kingston s The Woman Warrior, Hosseini s The Kite Runner, and Amy Tan s The Bonesetter s Daughter Breath, Eyes, Memory certainly belongs in this esteemed group of novels I also highly recommend her second work, Krik Krak


  5. says:

    I think this story is about how women are traumatised by each other under patriarchy how trauma makes us pass on trauma and abuse even especially to those we love I found the story achingly sad, since the only way to break the cycle, to refuse to pass on the pain, is to free yourself somewhat from the one who hurt you, to break your connection with them on some level, even if you continue to love and care for them.Apart from this deep insight into the violence wreaked upon girls and woman and I think this story is about how women are traumatised by each other under patriarchy how trauma makes us pass on trauma and abuse even especially to those we love I found the story achingly sad, since the only way to break the cycle, to refuse to pass on the pain, is to free yourself somewhat from the one who hurt you, to break your connection with them on some level, even if you continue to love and care for them.Apart from this deep insight into the violence wreaked upon girls and woman and the chain of suffering and re victimisation that comes out of it, and the limited possibilities for healing, I enjoyed this book for its sonorous poetry The part when our protagonist, Sophie, returns from New York City to stay with her Tante Atie and grandmother is strikingly beautiful The poet who is the author s proxy here is the driver of the bus in which Sophie travels with her baby daughter He flirts with her, and flirting is a very dangerous art to practice because it may be violence, even if the intent is not selfish, and not to harm It may be safer never to flirt, and similarly it may be safer to reject all sexual contact and retreat to a monastery and there may be an awesome beautiful life there too but maybe we can also tread the difficult path and find liberatory ways of engaging in such dangerous acts Here I think the driver s flirting is relatively safe, because Sophie with her daughter Brigitte, and her wedding ring, feels neither vulnerable problematically, she has a protected status conferred a legal proven attachment to some man nor desireable at the point when the driver praises her as if he were making her into a religion We do not find out how Sophie feels about the driver s attentions, except insofar as she continues to respond conversationally to him Our attention is drawn to how her beauty grants her the privilege of the best seat on the bus The world is neither as kind nor as equal as we would wish Comfort and tenderness are paid for in treacherous currencies Sophie is journeying away from people whose love for her expresses itself in demands, towards the refuge of Tante Atie, who refused her poem, her love offering, out of selflessness Peace and refuge and consolation and healing are found in love that asks nothing in return The driver s reverence, with its language of consuming and possessing, perhaps marks a transition between those who love her greedily, and those who love and accept and shelter her without conditions Great god in Guinea, you are beautiful I would crawl inside your dress and live there I can feed on your beauty like a leech feeds on blood I would live and die for you More than the sky loves its stars More than the night loves its moon More than the sea loves its mermaids Is the sea terrible or is it, for mermaids at least, refuge Despite the potentially frightening hunger of his words, his devotion is poured out on the dry ground of Sophie s merely polite reponse like a libation She has the power with the help of her women relatives and friends to temporarily retreat from those fearful promises Maybe it is a choice between passion and peace When and where and how will we be able to offer each other both


  6. says:

    sigh Okay, what did I think of the book, what did I think Well, by my grade I m sure you can tell I wasn t too fond of the book and didn t like it all that much I wish I could leave it at that, but I m a person who s solidly against criticisms without any sort of reason to back it up with So let s explain why I didn t really like itFirst of all, the story itself really didn t interest me at all Sure there were moments that I couldn t put it down, but most of the time I was bored by i sigh Okay, what did I think of the book, what did I think Well, by my grade I m sure you can tell I wasn t too fond of the book and didn t like it all that much I wish I could leave it at that, but I m a person who s solidly against criticisms without any sort of reason to back it up with So let s explain why I didn t really like itFirst of all, the story itself really didn t interest me at all Sure there were moments that I couldn t put it down, but most of the time I was bored by it Maybe because I didn t share any ties or connections to it In many stories, to feel any sort of attraction or pull to it, you sort of have to have some sort of thing to relate to it with This book I didn t really have that I think other people could just as easily relate to and enjoy this story muchthan I could.I think I also didn t like the story because it didn t seem that developed It still seemed to be in a younger stage of writing, and possibly that s Edwidge Danticat s style, but I think it would have enriched and helped the story so muchif she had addeddetail to it It was very simple in many ways And I don t want to think that she s trying to reflect the simplicity of the Haitian people or something, because Haiti and this time they re all living in is not simple at all It s rich in color and thick with strife And New York is a hustle and bustle of different people and business, while love is a full and strong emotion None of that was explored, and I know the book could have been so muchhad it been.Once again I had a time issue on my hands In such a short book I can understand why Sophie suddenly jumped in age, but it was difficult and a bit confusing to follow Especially because it seemed so much happened in between the two different ages and it felt like I was expected to know what happened I don t mind it when we have time switches on our hands it s just I like it when it s a smooth switch, or it s explained in a smooth way, or just it s not as choppy as it was in this story.This book could very well be a wonderful book for someone else to read but for me well, it just wasn t my style


  7. says:

    This is a beautifully painful story But does Danticat ever write happy stories Because Krik Krak had some sad elements in most of the short stories lol I don t even know how to review this Breath, Eyes, Memory is a sad book that is written in such a calm manner Danticat style Its deep with so many issues that span across 3 generations of women Grandma If Manman and her daughters Tante Atie, Martine who moved to NY and her granddaughter Sophie the main character of this boo This is a beautifully painful story But does Danticat ever write happy stories Because Krik Krak had some sad elements in most of the short stories lol I don t even know how to review this Breath, Eyes, Memory is a sad book that is written in such a calm manner Danticat style Its deep with so many issues that span across 3 generations of women Grandma If Manman and her daughters Tante Atie, Martine who moved to NY and her granddaughter Sophie the main character of this book seem to be victims of terrible circumstances, constantly living in a nightmare I have questions though was Tante Atie a lesbian Her relationship and attachment with Louise made me think so Also, was Martine suffering from psychosis Reading this book teaches you to empathize with others So many people in this world are going through shit Some women can t sleep at night because of sexual abuse Some women hate themselves and their bodies because of sexual abuse Some peoples marriages are suffering because of sexual abuse from the past Cultural Family practices that police girls sexuality have severe, adverse effects on women There are so many layers to this tale and Danticat s passionate writing definitely makes you empathize I doubt I d ever read Breath, Eyes, Memory again, but I m glad I finally read it MORE ON THE BOOK BLOG SOON africanbookaddict.com


  8. says:

    Breath, Eyes, Memory is a book that feels like a comfortable companion, a story of a young girl Sophie, growing up with her Aunt, Tante Atie, in Haiti, her grandmother not far away The Aunt is is the edlest child in the family, an unmarried woman, taking care of her sister s child.Sophie s mother is in New York and when she is 12 years old sends a ticket for her to come Sophie thinks of her Aunt as her mother, she makes her a mother s day card, her Aunt encourages her to take it with to the mo Breath, Eyes, Memory is a book that feels like a comfortable companion, a story of a young girl Sophie, growing up with her Aunt, Tante Atie, in Haiti, her grandmother not far away The Aunt is is the edlest child in the family, an unmarried woman, taking care of her sister s child.Sophie s mother is in New York and when she is 12 years old sends a ticket for her to come Sophie thinks of her Aunt as her mother, she makes her a mother s day card, her Aunt encourages her to take it with to the mother she doesn t remember.Sophie s mother works as a care worker, she takes her daughter with her, until she can start school, she presses on her the importance of an education She has terrible nightmares most nights, connected to the reason she left Hiati and her daughter behind.It is a simple read and yet an extraordinary book, the lives of these characters seep into the reader, these generations of women raising their daughters alone, living with their demons of the past, trying to ensure nothing of their suffering passes on to the next generation.It is the first of Edwidge Danticat s books I have read, I can t wait to read .My complete review here at Word by Word


  9. says:

    She told me about a group of people in Guinea who carry the sky on their heads They are the people of Creation Strong, tall, and mighty people who can bear anything Their Maker, she said, gives them the sky to carry because they are strong These people do not know who they are, but if you see a lot of trouble in your life, it is because you were chosen to carry part of the sky on your head Tante Atie once said that love is like rain It comes in a drizzle sometimes Then it starts pourin She told me about a group of people in Guinea who carry the sky on their heads They are the people of Creation Strong, tall, and mighty people who can bear anything Their Maker, she said, gives them the sky to carry because they are strong These people do not know who they are, but if you see a lot of trouble in your life, it is because you were chosen to carry part of the sky on your head Tante Atie once said that love is like rain It comes in a drizzle sometimes Then it starts pouring and if you re not careful it will drown you There is always a place where women live near trees that, blowing in the wind, sound like music These women tell stories to their children both to frighten and delight them These women, they are fluttering lanterns on the hills, the fireflies in the night, the faces that loom over you and recreate the same unspeakable acts that they themselves lived through There is always a place where nightmares are passed on through generations like heirlooms Where women like cardinal birds return to look at their own faces in stagnant bodies of water I come from a place where breath, eyes and memory are one, a place from which you carry your past like the hair on your head Where women return to their children as butterflies or as tears in the eyes of the statues that their daughters pray to My mother was as brave as stars at dawn She too was from this place My mother was like that woman who could never bleed and then could never stop bleeding, the one who gave in to her pain, to live as a butterfly Yes, my mother was like me


  10. says:

    Breath,Eyes,Memory by Edwidge Danticat was recommend to me by Nicole This book, I don t know where to beginning As I started reading the book I thought it would turn out to be like any other books but it didn t This book is about the relationship between a mother and a daughter who had not seen each other for a long period of time This book relates to me in so many ways When Manman sees her daughter for the very first time she took her as like she was a fragile glass As for Sophie, she did Breath,Eyes,Memory by Edwidge Danticat was recommend to me by Nicole This book, I don t know where to beginning As I started reading the book I thought it would turn out to be like any other books but it didn t This book is about the relationship between a mother and a daughter who had not seen each other for a long period of time This book relates to me in so many ways When Manman sees her daughter for the very first time she took her as like she was a fragile glass As for Sophie, she didn t see her mother that way, she thought she wasn t her mother, due to her abandoning However, after many years of getting to know each other they shared one body They had about the same feelings, nightmares and childhood But when Sophie s mother dies she realizes that everything her mother ever did was just for her Now Sophie has to raise up her child in a way she doesn t have to feel the pain that Sophie and her mother had gone through.I recommend this book to anyone because it really shows a relationship of a daughter and a mother Sometimes we have to accept each other even for the worse

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