Breath, Eyes, Memory

By: Edwidge Dundicat


Breath,Eyes, Memory is set in a village outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The story surrounds the life of a young Haitian girl who lives in that village where her aunt raises her. She goes to live with her mother I Brooklyn, New York where she comes face to face with real life and all of its hardships when she finds out that her mother is both mentally and physically ill. Her mother fights to repress the memory of her being raped and becoming pregnant when she was only a teenager in Haiti. Her mother's obsession with keeping her daughter pure until the day she is married cased Sophie to develop the same mental imbalances her mother faced. now she is married and has a daughter which whom she has the choice of dwelling in her past harms or making a better future for herself and her new family.

Dynamic Characters

Sophie Coca: the narrator of the story. Sophie is an extremely intelligent and observant little girl. Her role is not only child but also adult in her mother daughter relationship between her and her mother.

Atie Coca: Tante Atie, as Sophie calls her, is a woman of great pain. She has suffered through being left at the alter to being sexually assaulted by her own mother for most of her life. She ha a heart of gold that, after Sophie left to live with her mother, broke and turned catalyst.

Martine Coca: the emotionally broken mother of Sophie and younger sister of Atie. She as well was sexually assaulted by her mother. She was also raped by a man in Haiti with whom she became pregnant with Sophie. She now suffers from extreme bad dreams. Once her daughter became a teenager she became obsessed with keeping her pure and unfortunately continued the cycle of mother-daughter molestation.

Grandmè Ifé: Ifé is.the wise grandmother of Sophie and mother of Atie and Martine. She spends her time of the remainder if her life planing her funeral. Wile she visits with Sophie she gives her strong advise and much needed answers to her questions.

Edwidge Dundicat

About the author

Edwidge Dandicat was born and raised until the age of 11 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti by her aunt. When she turned 12 she moved to New York to live with her parents. There she still lives. She started writing when she was only nine. At the age of 26 Dandicat became a finalist for the national book award for her book "Kirk?Krak!" In 1995. That same year she won the Pusheart Short Story Prize and fiction awards. Her book Breath, Eyes, Memory was put onto Oprah's Book Club in 1998. She is considered one of the most talented young authors by the Carribean Writer, Seventeen, and Essence magazines.

Multicultural Aspect

This book is mostly about a Haitian girl who moves to America and has to learn the ins and outs of a whole new culture. As a woman she still struggles with some of the customs of her own culture that has impacted her entire life mentally socially, emotionally, and mentally.


Breath, Eyes, Memory is relatable to teens because the main character and narrator is a teen and she describes her life from a teens perspective. Even as an adult she still speaks in a way that tells the reader she is still like a teen in mind and at heart.