Book Blog

“Where in Africa are you from?”

The following is excerpted from Twelve Unending Summers: Memoir of an Immigrant Child: Years ago, when I was doing my residency in Chicago, I was making my way through the hospital cafeteria when a tall, slender, white attending physician approached. He looked me up and down, almost as though in resignation. “Where in Africa are you…

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Under the Coconut Tree

The following is excerpted from Twelve Unending Summers: Memoir of an Immigrant Child: One warm morning in La Rivière des Nègres, my dad took me to the northwest side of the house and showed me four coconut trees. Given their size, I thought they must have been planted about six to eight months earlier. “One of…

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One More Chance to Live

The following is excerpted from Twelve Unending Summers: Memoir of an Immigrant Child: I woke from a deep sleep in a frenzied panic, for a moment uncertain where I was. Cooking utensils flew across the cabin. Waves crashed over the deck and beat against the glass panel between me and the violent winds outdoors, and I…

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Mango Treasure Hunt

The glaring hot Caribbean sun is losing its lustrous heat, at least from where I am sitting on the mound of yellow dirt, tracking the movement of my shadow. Once my shadow is directly beneath me, I will know there is enough shade, but even now I feel the cool breeze drying my sweat. It…

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Did Voodoo Kill My Father?

It was mid-afternoon, the air humid and hot, but the sun cast a somber shadow on the white front porch of the hospital room when I finally summoned the courage to walk up to the bed. The man lay motionless on his back with his eyes closed. Tubes ran from his nose and mouth like…

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