Mrs. Gregory's Reviews > Breath, Eyes, Memory

Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
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Jan 03, 2010

really liked it

I read this novel about a decade ago while I was in Haiti. If you are looking for a novel that will help you understand the culture of this country, the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, during a time when the island nation is in the news, pick it up. I also recommend Graham Greene's The Comedians for a glimpse at what life was like in Haiti during the rule of Duvalier -- Papa Doc. The novel also highlights a time when people still considered Haiti a vacation destination. Greene's story is rife with the corruption of the time and features a hotel inspired by the real Hotel Oloffson. When I visited the hotel in the late 90s, it was apparent that the mansion and its grounds were once fairly luxurious -- Mick Jagger and Jackie Onassis stayed there decades ago. According to current news reports, the hotel was damaged, but not seriously, by the earthquake.
Another Haiti-related book that I am reading is Kent Annan's Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle. Annan, an American, now lives in Haiti. During the last year he helped found Haiti Partners, a Christian organization working to help Haitians changed Haiti through education.
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