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Breath, Eyes, Memory (50th Anniversary Edition)

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349145259

Price: £9.99

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Edwidge Danticat’s groundbreaking debut, with new introduction from Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo

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.


‘A vision of female solidarity which transcends place and time’ Sunday Times

‘Exquisite and unforgettable’ Washington Post

‘Extraordinarily successful’ New York Times Book Review

‘A first novel of precious humanity’ Independent

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Vibrant, magic... Danticat's elegant, intricate tale wraps readers into the haunting life of a young Haitian girl
Boston Globe
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
Publishers Weekly
Danticat's calm clarity of vision takes on the resonance of folk art. In the end, her book achieves an emotional complexity that lifts it out of the realm of the potboiler and into that of poetry. The tale is lovingly dominated by powerful female characters who struggle to make better lives for themselves and their families . . . extraordinarily successful.
New York Times Book Review
Stuffed with folk wisdom with a sprinkling of urban angst... a vision of female solidarity which transcends place and time
Sunday Times
Written in prose as clear as a bell, magical as a butterfly, and resonant as drum talk... An impressive debut
Julia Alvarez
She delicately tiptoes with poetic intent... brief, lyrical, disturbing novel
Mail on Sunday
Extraordinary... a young and genuinely fresh voice
Time Out
A first novel of precious humanity which mingles past and present, the horrors and delights of Haiti, in a quiet and dignified prose that would be impressive in a writer twice her age
A novel that rewards the reader again and again with small but exquisite and unforgettable epiphanies . . . This quiet soul-penetrating story about four generations of women trying to hold on to one another in the Haitian diaspora . . . is loaded with folk wisdom and fairy tales, the imagery of fear and pain, and an understated political subtext that makes this first novel much, much more than the elementary domestic story it might have been.
Washington Post