Brother, I’m Dying

Edwidge Danticat

Prize-winning novelist Edwidge Danticat takes her first shot at memoir in Brother, I’m Dying, her recounting of the intersecting lives of her father, Mira, and his older brother, Joseph. Mira and his wife emigrate from Haiti to the United States, leaving his two eldest children, Edwidge and her brother Bob, in Joseph’s care until they can join their parents. Danticat weaves her own memories of the two men—both her fathers, in very significant ways—with stories about their lives that she’s heard from others. It’s more than just another family immigration; Danticat draws up a balance sheet of what is gained and lost from what seems like such a small decision as where to live and work. Her skills as a storyteller lend themselves well to this story, her own “origin myth.”