Edwidge Danticat Long Fiction Analysis
Edwidge Danticat writes fiction in a realistic style, making the lives of ordinary people central to her plots. Haitian history, culture, and politics merge with compelling storytelling and characters. She is a writer who turns historical events into art. Writing in beautifully crafted English, Danticat succeeds in portraying the poverty, madness, and violence of Haiti while honoring the country’s history, traditions, and beauty. The rhythms of Africa, the lyricism of French, and the realism of English come together in Danticat’s language and style. Her work connects the great literary themes of the journey, return, and reconciliation with the experiences of the contemporary Haitian American woman.
Breath, Eyes, Memory
Like Danticat, the main character of Breath, Eyes, Memory, Sophie Caco, is raised by her aunt in Haiti and emigrates to Brooklyn to join her mother when she is twelve years old. The novel’s exclusion of the male figures of Danticat’s youth—an uncle, a father, and a brother—strengthens the theme of the enduring strength of Haitian women.
The novel opens as Sophie’s mother sends her a plane ticket to join her in New York. On her first night in Brooklyn, Sophie discovers that her mother has nightmares that cause her to wake up screaming. Before long, Sophie learns the story of her birth: She is a child of rape. She also learns that her mother and aunt were “tested” regularly by their...
(The entire section is 1397 words.)
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