Updated: Jun 1, 2021
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Breath, Eyes, Memory was written by Edwidge Danticat and first published in 1994. As a book, it gives a voice to the voiceless women of Haiti and underlying issues of race, gender, psychosexual trauma, the intergenerational perpetuation of traumatic experiences, political instability and identity- interconnected and united under a plotline following the protagonist, Sophie Caco. You don’t have to read Breath, Eyes, Memory- CSEC lets you choose which question you want in the essay, and SparkNotes is a real team player in this situation. But Danticat elucidates something we’ve likely been blind to for a long time. In our own Caribbean community, is Haiti, a land that has been buffeted by several hardships and despotic political leadership, but is far more than that. In many of Danticat’s works she reminds us the impressive resistant triumph of Haiti and its people, and (as she does in her essay ‘We are ugly but we are here’) that ‘this land was the first Black Republic, home to the first people of African descent to uproot slavery and create an independent nation in 1804.’ You don’t have to read Breath Eyes Memory, but in the story, you will find something that you might not be used to- a perspective that may be so foreign that it changes your own.
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