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Brother, I'm Dying

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by

Laura Zeiser

on 22 August 2014

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Transcript of Brother, I'm Dying

Characters
Edwidge Danticat:
Narrator & author. Grows up in Haiti with her uncle and later moves to New York to be with her parents.

Joseph Dantica:
Brother of Mira, lung cancer survivor, founder of Haitian school and church.

Mira Danticat:
Edwidge's father, moves his family to New York, dying of pulmonary fibrosis.

Bob Danticat:
Brother of Edwidge, moves to America with her to reunite with their family.

Karl & Kelly Danticat:
younger siblings of Edwidge, spend their whole lives living in New York.

Maxo Dantica:
Son of Joseph, wants to defend his father until the end, but is forced to flee.

Tante Denise:
Joseph's wife, takes care of Edwidge and Bob, died from a stroke.

Marie Micheline:
adopted, had a child out of wedlock and married an abusive husband. She died of a heart attack.


Setting
Bel Air, Haiti, New York City, and Miami, Florida
Timeline
Writing Style & Passage
Heartfelt story of her life
Questions
Is the desire to return home irrepressible, regardless of a lack of safety and security?
Is it possible retain a relationship with your home country when you are immersed in a foreign land?
How can a story left unwritten have as much of an impact of a story that has been recorded and retold?
Do family ties remain strong across countries and cultures?
Citations
Row, Jess. "Haitian Fathers." The New York Times. The New York
Times, 08 Sept. 2007. Web. 21 Aug. 2014.
Edwidge Danticat
Brother, I'm Dying
1940s-2004
Violence going on in Haiti
- Edwidge's parents move to New York
-Edwidge and her brother go live
with their Uncle Joseph
- Edwidge and Bob were denied a visa
to go into the USA because they had tuberculosis in their system
- 6 months later they were approved
and went to live with their parents
Turmoil in Haiti as a result of conflict between United Nations officials and gang members
True and direct
Biography
Uncle Joseph gets lung cancer
changes his life because of his job as a pastor
Edwidge and Bob go to live with
their parents and their 2 brothers.
Edwidge's mother and father come to visit them in Bel Air. They bring their baby boy, and Edwidge meets her brother for the first time because he was born in the U.S.
Back in Haiti, Uncle Joseph is confronted with many riots in the streets of Bel Air
"I write these things now, some as I witnessed them and today remember them, others from official documents, as well as the borrowed recollections of family members. But the gist of them was told to me over the years, in part by my uncle Joseph, in part by my father. Some were told offhand, quickly. Others, in greater detail. What I learned from my father and uncle, I learned out of sequence and in fragments. This is an attempt at cohesiveness, and at re-creating a few wondrous and terrible months when their lives and mine intersected in startling ways, forcing me to look forward and back at the same time. I am writing this only because they can't.

Brother, I'm Dying. Page 25-26.
Uncle Joseph's church is looted and burned down because he was accused of allowing the UN soldiers access to his roof in order to kill rebels
Uncle Joseph takes refuge with his neighbors to hide from the rebels who are out to kill him and then escapes to the US with his son Maxo
Uncle Joseph arrives in the US and is sent to Miami to Krome, a detainee camp, because he said that he wanted to stay in the US for longer than his papers allowed
After many attempts by Edwidge to get her uncle released, Uncle Joseph dies in a Miami hospital. Joseph was buried in US. because the gang members were still angry and would not allowed him to be buried in Haiti.
Edwidge gives birth to a daughter, who she names Mira after her father.
Edwidge's father dies a few days later
Edwidge travels to New York so her father can meet his namesake.
Major Themes
Death and rebirth
Being pulled in different directions
Returning home
Family ties
Untold stories
Brotherhood
Danticat, Edwidge.
Brother, I'm Dying
. New York: Alfred
A. Knopf, 2007. Print.
Full transcript