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Edwidge Danticat’s fiction is fashioned out of seductive, spiritually tinged prose, and that hasn’t always been a good thing. Books such as her 1994 novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, and her 2004 story collection, The Dew Breaker, address themes of rape, torture, and totalitarianism in her native Haiti, but they read like screams into a pillow—the sinuousness of her writing blunts the power of her message. For her latest book, Brother, I’m Dying, she shifts to nonfiction, and that changes everything. In 2004, Danticat’s father, who emigrated to Brooklyn shortly after she was born, was diagnosed with end-stage pulmonary fibrosis, and her uncle Joseph, a priest in the Haitian city of Bel Air, was wrongly targeted by street gangs that were clashing with United Nations peacekeepers. Joseph eventually escaped to Miami, but what Danticat convincingly describes as a bungled detention by United States Customs and Homeland Security officials sped his death. (A medic at his asylum hearing is slow to assist even though Joseph is violently vomiting, figuring he’s faking.) The hallmarks of Danticat’s storytelling remain intact—the home lives of Haitian émigrés in New York, the emotional legacy of “Baby Doc” Duvalier’s tyrannical regime, the mildly mystical storytelling and the rich patois in which it’s told—but the hard facts of her father’s and uncle’s deaths gird those elements, giving her writing a newfound force. Her account of Joseph’s trek from his seized church to the Miami hospital where he died is among her most unflinching, just-the-facts writing, and it’s no coincidence that it’s among her most affecting work, too. Danticat discusses and signs copies of her work at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919.