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The Dew Breaker  By  cover art

The Dew Breaker

By: Edwidge Danticat
Narrated by: Robin Miles
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Publisher's summary

From the universally acclaimed author of Breath, Eyes, Memory and Krik? Krak!, a brilliant, deeply moving work of fiction that explores the world of a "dew breaker", a torturer, a man whose brutal crimes in the country of his birth lie hidden beneath his new American reality.

We meet him late in his life. He is a quiet man, a husband and father, a hardworking barber, a kindly landlord to the men who live in a basement apartment in his home. He is a fixture in his Brooklyn neighborhood, recognizable by the terrifying scar on his face. As the book unfolds, moving seamlessly between Haiti in the 1960s and New York City today, we enter the lives of those around him: his devoted wife and rebellious daughter; his sometimes unsuspecting, sometimes apprehensive neighbors, tenants, and clients. And we meet some of his victims.

In the book's powerful denouement, we return to the Haiti of the dew breaker's past, to his last, desperate act of violence, and to his first encounter with the woman who will offer him a form of redemption, albeit imperfect, that will change him forever. The Dew Breaker is a book of interconnected lives, a book of love, remorse, and hope; of rebellions both personal and political; of the compromises we often make in order to move beyond the most intimate brushes with history. Unforgettable, deeply resonant, The Dew Breaker proves once more that in Edwidge Danticat we have a major American writer.

Hear Edwidge Danticat, Dave Eggers, Cynthia Ozick, and Orhan Pamuk discuss literature and politics at The New Yorker Festival. Also, don't miss Danticat's conversation with Chang-rae Lee.
©2004 Edwidge Danticat (P)2004 Recorded Books

Critic reviews

  • PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist, 2005

"Courageous. . . . Beautiful. . . . The Dew Breaker is brilliant book, undoubtedly the best one yet by an enormously talented writer." (The Washington Post Book World)
"Danticat's gift is to combine both sympathy and clarity in a moral tangle that becomes as tight as a Haitian community." (Time)
"A devastating story of love, delusion, and history." (O, The Oprah Magazine)