Author of the Queen City Boys books

50 Books: Book 9


Breath, Eyes, Memory
Edwidge Danticat

Breath, Eyes, Memory, Edwidge Danticat

I had a whole thing with Caribbean lit a few years ago, that I've never completely recovered from. I can't help but pick a book from an author that I know in that genre.  It's oddly something I've always identified with even though I've never been there and met very few people from there.  I find most writing from that region to be breath-takingly painful, but painted over in such brilliant, colorful, fascinating stories full of metaphor and strange fables in such a way that you almost can't not read it.   Breath, Eyes, Memory is predominately about mothers and daughters and the hurt they often inadvertantly cause each other in their attempts to be individuals.  This story covers the mother/daughter aspects of aunts, grandmothers, daughters, nieces and great-granddaughters and all the possible permutations of how they can relate to each other and love each other and raise each other and hurt each other.  Yet despite the possibility of suffering, this is overall is a tale of love.  Taking place alternately in New York City and Haiti, the horrors of everyday life in those places are not discounted, just left to background details in the lives of the women trying to find happiness when the world seems stacked against them.  I completely love this book and would recommend it to anyone, but I did have really detailed nightmares about the Tonton Macoutes two nights in a row while reading it and I think if rape is a really triggery subject for you, then you probably want to skip this one.

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Author: Ajax Bell

Seattle author. Stops to smell the flowers. Amateur nerd (I wanna go pro but I haven't found anyone to pay me). Humble hippo enthusiast. queer/bi. they/them.

3 thoughts on “50 Books: Book 9

  1. I almost want to try to have another child, so we could name her "Edwidge."

  2. I like that the way you phrased this makes is sound like you and I have children. Yikes.

  3. I think I just need to start keeping a notebook in my purse of stuff that you rec so that when I go to the store I'm not sitting there all, "Um, what was the name of that book/author/cd/artist again?" I cannot be left to my own devices in choosing things to read and listen to.

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