Breath, Eyes, Memory

Plot introduction

Edwidge Danticat’s first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, was published when Danticat was only twenty-five years old. As she has recounted in interviews, the book began as an essay of her childhood in Haiti and her move as a young girl to New York City. The novel is written in a first person narrative. The narrator, Sophie Caco, relates her direct experiences and impressions from age 12 until she is in her twenties. Sophie is the product of a violent rape and is raised by her loving aunt in a village near Port-au-Prince for 12 years. At this point, Sophie is unexpectedly summoned by her mother, who lives in Brooklyn having gained asylum and immigrated to the United States. Living with her mother in New York, Sophie discovers the trauma her mother endures inclusive of violent nightmares reminiscent of her experience prior to fleeing Haiti.


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