Brother, I'm Dying (Vintage Contemporaries) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.34
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This item has been gently used.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Brother, I'm Dying Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 4, 2007


See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Deckle Edge
"Please retry"
$7.76 $0.01
Best%20Books%20of%202014
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (September 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400041155
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400041152
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,088,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In a single day in 2004, Danticat (Breath, Eyes, Memory; The Farming of Bones) learns that she's pregnant and that her father, André, is dying—a stirring constellation of events that frames this Haitian immigrant family's story, rife with premature departures and painful silences. When Danticat was two, André left Haiti for the U.S., and her mother followed when Danticat was four. The author and her brother could not join their parents for eight years, during which André's brother Joseph raised them. When Danticat was nine, Joseph—a pastor and gifted orator—lost his voice to throat cancer, making their eventual separation that much harder, as he wouldn't be able to talk with the children on the phone. Both André and Joseph maintained a certain emotional distance through these transitions. Danticat writes of a Haitian adage,  'When you bathe other people's children, you should wash one side and leave the other side dirty.' I suppose this saying cautions those who care for other people's children not to give over their whole hearts. In the end, as Danticat prepares to lose her ailing father and give birth to her daughter, Joseph is threatened by a volatile sociopolitical clash and forced to flee Haiti. He's then detained by U.S. Customs and neglected for days. He unexpectedly dies a prisoner while loved ones await news of his release. Poignant and never sentimental, this elegant memoir recalls how a family adapted and reorganized itself over and over, enduring and succeeding to remain kindred in spite of living apart. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Edwidge Danticat's father and uncle chose very different paths: the former struggled to make a new life for himself in America, while the latter remained in the homeland he paradoxically loved. In following their lives and their impact on future generations, Danticat's powerful family memoir explores how the private and the political, the past and the present, intersect. The most poignant section focuses on Joseph's tragic trip to the United States at age 81, but Danticat also tells a wider story about family and exile, the Haitian diaspora, the Duvalier regime, and post-9/11 immigration policy. Emotionally resonant and exceptionally clear-eyed, Brother, I'm Dying offers insight into a talented writer, her family history, and the injustices of the modern world.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.


More About the Author

Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti in 1969 and came to the United States when she was twelve years old. She graduated from Barnard College and received an M.F.A. from Brown University. She made an auspicious debut with her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, and followed it with the story collection Krik? Krak!, whose National Book Award nomination made Danticat the youngest nominee ever. She lives in New York.

Customer Reviews

It's also a story of her own, and of her native country Haiti.
a Kazakh in California
Danticat takes us on an amazing journey of family love, caring, death and birth.
Sonia
In this autobiographical book, she writes eloquently of her own life.
Priya Ramachandran

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Josiane H. Barnes on September 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Edwidge tells the story of a modern Haitian family, her family, with great love and courage. In addition to Edwidge's family's personal events, the year 2004 was a year of great sadness and emotion for Haiti and Haitians. It was a year that was to be the celebration of the country's 200th. birthday. Haitians were full of anger at the political situation and sadness at their inability to celebrate one of the major reasons for Haitian pride, our great history. There were also terrible natural disasters, floods that killed more people than 9/11 did. It was a sad year and Edwidge was having her first baby.
While it is often said that Haitians in the US are not political refugees but economic refugees, this book shows us that family life is tied to political life. And in the face of the political and economic situation, some make the choice to emigrate at any cost as Edwidge's biological father did, and some make the choice of serving their community in Haiti as Edwidge's surrogate father and uncle did. Each man expresses love for the family in his own way either as a provider of financial support or a provider of every day love. Uncle Joseph stayed in Haiti as long as he could. When the day came that his own home was destroyed and his life was directly threatened, he decided to go to the US with no return date. That's how he encountered his death: a family man alone in a foreign hospital, shackled, voiceless, and abandoned, because he made the mistake of asking for political asylum.
For most Americans this story will be an introduction to a type of life common to many Haitians, a life of dedication to family and of cultural transitions. Edwidge's family is a hybrid of true Haitians and true Americans. As Americans they believed in respect for national institutions.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on December 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Like Bill Maher says, if you're not embarrassed being an American these days, then you must be dead. Edwidge Danticat's memoir BROTHER, I'M DYING, this year's National Book Award finalist, never points a "shame on you" finger at anyone. But once you've digested the dramatic, poignant and unsentimental experiences of her beautiful book, you will be ashamed and disgusted by America's kneejerk reactions to the many people who flock to this nation thinking it is still the land of opportunity.

Edwidge's parents left her native Haiti when she was four years old, for the America of old where they might escape the oppressive strictures of the Duvalier government and make their way in a world of freedom and opportunity. Her parents left her and her brother in the care of her uncle Joseph, a man who profoundly affected the person she grew up to be. She calls him the man who "knew all the verses for love." (Who wouldn't want such an epitaph?) Until she was 12, he and his family guided her as one of their own. As an enthusiastic pastor, he made moral lessons sing for her and was able to encourage her interests in nursing as well as writing. At the age of 12, however, her parents called her to New York, where she was reunited with her younger siblings and the father she had barely known before.

Leaving behind Joseph and her colorful extended family was exceedingly difficult and emotional for her. In fact, once she left, Joseph was stricken with an illness that kept him from speaking --- so Edwidge and her brother who had lived with him could not even talk to him by phone. She concentrated instead on her studies while fearing more and more each day the deteriorating political system in her homeland.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Arlene James on September 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
So far, this is my favorite book by Danticat (I've read them all). It drew me in completely. And although I knew from the title that at least one life would be lost by the close of the book, I was unable to stop reading.I kept thinking that her father and uncle, not to mention the rest of her family must be very proud of her for writing such a beautiful eulogy. I also believe that the Haitian people who live with this suffering are also glad. Good work, Edwidge.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Minor on August 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Edwidge Danticat is possibly the best American fiction writer of the younger generation. Her novels and story collections have cut a broad swath through the history of 20th century Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. Their virtues include lyric and narrative pleasures, a plainspoken and elegant voice, intelligence and intelligibility, and the bridging of two cultures separated by language and mutual misunderstanding.

With Brother, I'm Dying, Danticat expands upon the gift for nonfiction she first demonstrated in her book about carnival in Jacmel. This time, she tackles memoir by way of family history, a private story that stands in for hundreds of thousands of other private stories and has deep public policy implications. Through the Dantica and Danticat families, we get an up-close-and-personal look at the terrors of Haitian history from Papa Doc to the present, alongside the beauties of place and people too often underexplored in newspaper accounts of Haiti.

The book's velocity increases toward the end, when Danticat's uncle is run out of Port-au-Prince by street gangs, only to encounter the surprisingly deadlier American immigration system. This part of the story is the most deeply felt section of a deeply felt book, and the reader wants to scream with outrage and the indignities Danticat's uncle suffers, and especially at the unwillingness of the immigration authorities to respond humanely to his illness, his difficulties in communicating, or his family's quite reasonable requests that he receive proper medical and legal attention.

I find myself grieving now, after finishing this book, and I want to know what I can do to make my country more compassionate.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?