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Saturday, September 23, 2023

My Daughter’s Eyes: An interesting book to read

By Christine Jean-Pierre

 CSMS Magazine Staff Writer Remember Jacques Stephen Alexis’ Romancero Aux Étoiles or Edwidge Danticat’s Cric-Crac, My Daughter’s eyes—winner of the prestigious 2007 Mármol Prize—is a thrilling collection of short stories written by poet and fiction writer, Annecy Báez. The collection holds fourteen intertwined stories put together, depicting the everyday life of young Dominican women trying to survive the rough streets of Bronx, NY.These stories move around three separate decades, beginning in the 1970s. Their topics vary, although they always spin around the same theme: child abuse, broken homes, and poverty.             The book also deals with love, sex and forgiveness. For instance, in the story The Loss, there is a gut wrenching part where a young girl’s father leaves and walks out of the family and disappears for along period of time. Inner-city teenagers can easily relate to situations like these. It doesn’t have to be Dominican or Haitian for that matter. Many children who live in the inner city live through these ordeals at some point in their lives.One thing that keeps reflecting across stories is the mother – daughter situation. There is always a struggle between mom and daughter to get along, while trying to understand each other’s differences.                                                                  In the story To tell the truth, a more serious portrayal of sexual tension is described. Mia is found skipping school, fooling around with boys. When her father finds this out, he becomes enraged. Although disciplining her is the intention, the manner of which it is being done looks nothing more than child abuse.The book really goes in depth with teenage life, including Mia Zuleika’s life. It is about teenage friends who take their under age problems together in order to find common solutions. I find this book very helpful and entertaining. It could be used to help young readers get away from life’s problems that plague young teenagers all over this country and, perhaps, all over the world. When one reads this book, he feels like he’s in Mia’s shoes. It is really scary. It is as if the book takes one to the same cruel world that the Mia has gone through or felt.                The author of this book, Annecy Báez, was born in the Dominican Republic but was raised in the United States. Similar to the main character of her book, she was raised in the Bronx. One can understand why she seems to be the only one person who could describe such existence of young Dominican women with such a beautiful simplicity.She currently lives in Irvington, New York. Annecy is also a psychotherapist by training, and she also holds a doctoral degree in clinical social work. A lot of her work is there to help people with their problems. That’s why I believe this book will be helpful for young people to get through their everyday problems. It is so real and blunt to reality.The book is very interesting, but don’t take my word for it. Just pick it up and check it out yourself.Also see Closed For Repairs: a book that offers a glimpse of life in urban Cuba Note: The book was published by Connecticut based Curbstone Press. It is available almost everywhere, especially in all online bookstores. One can also visit the publisher’s website: www.curbstone.org for more info

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