A Question for My Father

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Quite some time ago, in the basement of the Fine Arts building at Penn, someone told me that he wanted to live in a “Third World” country with just him, his wife, and their children. I don’t remember quite what I said in reply–mostly because at that time I was only capable of saying the wrong thing–but that conversation has always stuck with me. It was the first time I had heard someone say they wanted to live in this so called third world, a place people died trying to leave, a place my own parents seemed to gladly leave behind.

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Earlier today I went to Central Park to continue reading Brother, I’m Dyingby the Haitian author, Edwidge Danticat. I had started reading it some months before, but let essays and class readings pile on top of it on my desk, with only the slightest tinge of guilt…

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