It is 1937, and Amabelle Desir is a young Haitian woman working as a maid for a wealthy family in the Dominican Republic, across the border from her homeland. The Republic, under the iron rule of the Generalissimo, treats the Haitians as second-class citizens, and although Amabelle feels a strong sense of loyalty to her employers, especially since her own parents drowned crossing the river from Haiti, racial tensions are heightened when Amabelle's boss accidentally kills a Haitian in a car accident. The accident is a catalyst for a systematic round-up of Haitians, ostensibly for repatriation but in fact a prelude to slaughter. Amabelle, caught up in the chaos and confusion, returns to Haiti after much hardship to make a new life, but is for years uncertain of the fate of her lover, Sebastian, and haunted by a nagging sense of guilt.
A powerful, fiercely economical and deceptively moving work, blending historical accuracy with lyrical brilliance.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780349111636
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Edwidge Danticat is the author of a novel, BREATH, EYES, MEMORY, and a collection of interlinked stories, KRIK? KRAK!, which was shortlisted for the National Book Award in the US. She was also one of GRANTA's Best Young American Novelists.
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