Twelve Unending Summers

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Dr. Josue is an especially earnest autobiographer, I really felt for him through all his travails and at this time in history it is so important that we listen to and learn about the experiences of undocumented illegals. As a bi-racial American born abroad, I can relate to Cholet's pleaful bid to find his true self. I am heartened by the fact that he has family with him in America, I hope they have all managed to get legalized somehow as well. 

I do think this book would have been easier to read had some of the repetition been edited out. The timeline of Josue's having been born in the Bahamas, grown up in Haiti, and then become an adult in the US was made quite clear in the Prologue but was reiterated several times throughout, often as if it were new knowledge. I'm intrigued by his honesty and willingness to share details of his legal history,  and will read more of his literary explorations into the lands of his life that he's written about so lovingly in Twelve Unending Summers and promises more of in future, but I hope he'll opt to share more detail about his work in neuropsychiatry, his philanthropy, friends and family and maybe get out of his head a little bit next time. I think that would make him an even better story teller.
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This was  a wonderful beautiful tie account of being an immigrant and not knowing were you belong and trying to find your identity just beautiful made me cry. Could relate having a disability it's hard when all people see is the disability. 4 out of 5 hope it does well.
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Let me say, 
I was hooked on reading this book and could not put it down after the first few pages. The way Josué describes his emotions, anger, and feelings towards the white man and towards his own family really captivates his experience as a child of an immigrant. The dilemma of assimilation into the American white culture, and preserving his roots is one that many people can relate to. The encountering with the doctors who are insensitive and oblivious to their questions? Relatable, VALID. I personally enjoyed the way that Josué was able to captivate his conflict with his cultural identity, discrimination, and racism, as well as his descriptions of the Caribbean and Haiti. I  think that this is a book anyone who is an immigrant, immigrant child, or even those who really to understand the immigrant experience should take a peek at the book.
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The premise of the story surrounds the life of a Bahamian-born, Haitian man who is trying to come to terms with his identity, as he has lived the U.S. and schooled in the U.S. for a great part of his life. Truly, the story is a story about trying to find one's own identity when that identity is stretched between three very different countries.

This book was pretty interesting and something that I was able to relate with personally. As a Mexican-American, I constantly straddle both worlds and understand completely the struggle to find an identity when nowhere feels quite like "home." The author seemed to be saying that by not having a "home" anywhere between these countries and instead needing to find home within oneself. I enjoyed his narrative integrating race and racism between the countries he's lived and the countries that all are a part of him. I enjoyed the story and I learned a great deal about Haitian culture, and more about the devastating natural disaster that hit them not all-too-long ago. I think that this story would perhaps make a good film, as I would love to see Haiti as the author had seen it as a boy. However, I did find quite a great deal of the story very-repetitive and the writing was not as strong as I would have liked.
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Does the country we grow up in define our identity? How much does our heritage shape us and what's the influence of the country we now live in? Will immigrants always be "the other" or is it ever possible to fit in? And at the some time maintain ones own cultural identity? These are questions all immigrants can relate to.

Besides his individual story the author tells us about Haiti, the difficult immigration process and racism in the USA, even blacks against blacks, being poor and the value of education.
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