external image dewbreaker.jpg
by Edwidge Danticat

The Dew Breaker is about a man who lived in Hiati but now he lives in New York. He has a family and lives a life that most of us would consider normal. His daughter, Ka, doesnt know much about his past. Up to now she thought that her father was in jail back in Haiti. But once her father tells her " One day for the hunter, one day for the prey. Ka, your father was the hunter, he was not the prey.", she starts to wonder about her father's real past. We learn about it in the next 8 chapters. At a young age the dew breaker was hired as Tonton Macoute.He was to torture and even kill haitians that didn't approve of the president's decisons. They would break into people's houses and rape, rob and murder them and their families. The book has many characters that are somehow related to him. They have been tortured by the dew breaker or or have relatives that have been. After the president was forced to leave the country, the dew breaker left Haiti for New York with a woman he had just met. In New York he starts a new life. He is now a barber, and lives a quiet life with his wife and his daughter.

The story takes place between Haiti in 1967 and New York today. Edwidge Danticat goes back and forth from one family to the other and one period of time to another.

the dew breaker is the main character. He was born in Haiti and became a a mean person. He has a scar on his face which he got from one of the people he tortured.
Anne is the dew breaker's wife. She is a hairdresser. She loves to go to church
Ka is their daughter. She was born in the U.S. and is a sculptor. So far she thought that her father was in jail but she didn't know why.
Michel is a man whose parents were killed in a fire set up by the dew breaker. It happened back in Haiti when he was young.Now he lives in a house with 2 other men. His landlord is the dew breaker.
Beatrice Saint Fort is a dressmaker. back in Haiti, the dew breaker "whipped her feet until they bled" and "made her walk home barefeet."
The Priest only appears in the last chapter. He was the president's public enemy and that caused him a lot of trouble. his wife got killed. the dew breaker was ordered to warn him but things didn't turn out as planned so the dew breaker kills him. But before that the priest uses a piece of wood to stab him but could only reach his face and that's How the dew breaker got the scar on his face.

Literary Devices

Redemption, memory, self-deception, loss (abscence of a father), and confusion.

Danticat paints powerful visuals in your mind using her words.

Literary Criticism
" A serious-minded work of a mature talent, a searching examination of terror and its lingering aftershocks on generations...Gripping...Powerful.", John Marshall, -Seattle Post Intelligencer

"Filled with quiet intensity and elegant, thought-provoking prose...An elegiac and powerful novel with a fresh presentation of evil and the healing potential of forgiveness." - Champ Clark, People

" Stunning... Engrossing for its fine-tuned characterizations and evocation interactins...Vivid and memorable...Always shifting and always beautiful, the stories maintain a sense of mystery about what lies behind them." -Johnette Rodriguez, The Providence Phoenix

" Unforgettable...Danticat masterfully leads her readers into the everyday lives of Haitian immigrants in Brooklyn and Queens, New York...This heart-stirring book teaches us profound truths about the power of the human spirit."- Organic Style

My Personal Review
A couple of people saw me reading the book and they asked me questions about the book and its author.I told them all she is the kind of author that you don't even think about but once you read one of her books you will be hooked. The fact that the chapters are not related can be confusing but i like to think of it as a technique that the author uses to keep it interesting. I feel like some of the chapters had nothing to do with the book and I always had to go back and re-read some previous chapters.But I would recommmend it to anyone.

Edwidge Danticat
Edwidge Danticat
Author's Biography
Edwidge Danticat was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 19, 1969. when she was two years old her father left Haiti to go live in New York.Two years after, her mother went to join her father in New York. Danticat and her brother were then raised by their uncle until she went to live with her parents. she was 12. when she got there she found out about her 2 new younger brothers. she went to school but had difficulties because she did not speak english. Some students used to tease her and call her names. she was feeling lost and that's how she turned to writing. She even ended up writing stories for her high school newspaper.
She attended Barnard College and graduated in 1990 with a degree in French literature.Brown University offered her full scholarship. She started writing Breath,Eyes, Memories for her thesis and later developed it to the novel we know today. She is a very respected young author.
The Dew Breaker was selected for many awards and prizes including the Today Show Book Club, The National Book Critics Circle Award.
Edwidge Danticat travels back to Haiti often but she lives in Miami with her daughter.

Work Cited