#DecolonizeBookshelves2022 Adult Books Features Lifespan of a Reader Literary Fiction Reading Themes Saturday Reads

[Saturday Reads | #DecolonizeBookshelves2022] Womanity in all its Brokenness and Triumphs in Edwidge Danticat’s Debut Novel

"There is always a place where nightmares are passed on through generations like heirlooms. Where women like cardinal birds return to look at their own faces in stagnant bodies of water." - Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat.


Myra here.

Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.

Breath, Eyes, Memory [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Edwidge Danticat Published by Soho Press (2015, first published 1994) ISBN: 9781616955021 (ISBN10: 1616955023) Bought a copy of the book. Book quote layouts via Canva.

This is the fourteenth book that I am reviewing / featuring as part of our #DecolonizeBookshelves2022 reading theme from my target list of 25 books (for this year) from This Is The Canon: Decolonize Your Bookshelf In 50 Books (Amazon | Book Depository) – and the eleventh novel written by a female author.

My book log indicates that I started reading the book on September 19 and finished it on October 02.

This book is a slow burn. I initially tried to resist its voice but was sucked into it (gutter-punched, more like) as the story progressed, especially as the main character, Sophie Caco, left the aunt and grandmother who raised her in a fictional small town in Haiti to live with her mother in New York.

Among the books I have read, thus far, from This Is The Canon, this is the one that broke me completely, such that I found myself waking up at the break of dawn to finish the novel, crying over the breakfast table, as I read the last few pages aloud to my husband. Here are the lines from the book that spoke to me.

I honestly believe that the universe speaks to me through the books that find me at the perfect moment, and here is another one:

I sympathized with all the hopes and dreams of Sophie’s mother wrapped up with all these expectations of what the Great American Immigrant Dream is all about:

Yet, there is also a recognition of the realistic constraints that prevent these dreams from being fully realized, especially among women.

The lines that moved me deeply reminded me of my own mother and all the powerfully broken, joyful and triumphant women whom I have had the privilege to meet and learn from.

#DecolonizeBookshelves2022 Update: 100 out of target 100

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

2 comments on “[Saturday Reads | #DecolonizeBookshelves2022] Womanity in all its Brokenness and Triumphs in Edwidge Danticat’s Debut Novel

  1. Pingback: #DecolonizeBookshelves2022 Reading Round-Up – Gathering Books

  2. Pingback: [Monday Reading – My 2022 in Books] Favourite Fiction and Poetry Books Read in 2022 – Gathering Books

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