Brother, I'm Dying An assignment commentary

Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat is the author of this book, she was born January 19, 1969 in Port-au-Prince (Capital of Haiti). She is a Haitian American author whose works focus on the lives of woman and their relationship, she also addressed issues of power, injustice, and poverty.

Brother, I'm dying was published in 2007. This book is about is Edwidge Danticat's nonfiction family story that centers around her father, her uncle and events that linked them in the last months of their lives.

1. In the beginning of the book, the author is struggling with life and death, she is dealing with the sadness of her father's diagnosis while at the same time feeling over joyed about the news of her pregnancy. Another important event has her uncle Joseph discovering that he has cancer & needs to travel to New York City to have surgery to remove his larynx.

Quote 1

"I found out I was pregnant the same day that my father's rapid weight loss and chronic shortness of breath were positively diagnosed as end-stage pulmonary fibrosis."

Quote 2

"The doctor gave him a copy of his medical file and wrote a letter for him to take to the American consulate requesting a visa to travel for the surgery."

The middle section reveals an important time of development for the characters. First, Danticat's uncle acquires a medical device that can restore his ability to speak, which was a miracle to their family.

" The sound of the word emerging out of his own body in a robotic monotone seemed to shock my uncle, who raised his eyebrows in surprise."

Voice Box

As for the political backdrop, we see the social political turmoil developing in Haiti as the leader, Baby doc Duvalier, Flees Haiti and a military junta (Coup) takes control of the country. During this uprising, a gun battle broke out and Marie Micheline was accidentally killed by a straight bullet.

"The street was suddenly blurry, a cloud of dust descending in the wake of speeding military pickups. Had she been shot? In the heart? She clutched her chest and fell to the floor. She never regained consciousness."

Rounding out the episodes of the book we incounter tropical storm Jeanne which ravaged the country of Haiti. Coupled with this were the events primeminister Aristide, there was another coup that took control of the country. In 2004, during this uprising the United Nations send in a peace keeping force to calm the citizens of the violant gang that had taken over the neighborhoods. The violant gangs thought that Joseph took money in exchange for his cooperation and use of his house. He was followed by gangs that was seeking to kill him so he had to go and hide. Eventually he escaped to Miami where he later died.

"Aristide fled to Venezuela, then Washington, where he stayed for three years."

Tropical Storm Jeanne

The book ends with two transition . The first transition was her baby being born, the transition being from the womb to the world. The second transition is her father's death as he transitioned from life to death. The books ends as it begins.

"I think now that my father waited for me to leave. That he did not want me to hold Mira with one hand and his corpse with the other hand."

Created By
Mamadou Diallo
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