Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story

Wyclef Jean with Anthony Bozza. HarperCollins/It!, $26.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-196686-6
At first glance, award-winning hip-hop musician Jean’s memoir is just one in a long line of tales of a poverty-stricken youth climbing out of a hardscrabble life rung by rung on the ladder of music. Very quickly, however, Jean’s passion for music, his fierce love for his family and for Lauryn Hill, his partner in the Fugees, and his deep and abiding devotion to his native country, Haiti, forcefully reach out and grab the reader, who is soon rocking along to the rhythms and harmonies of a brilliant musician composing the score of his life. Jean conducts readers on a journey from his childhood in Haiti, where his preacher father auspiciously named his son after Bible translator John Wycliffe and musician Toussaint L’Ouverture, to his youth in New York and New Jersey, where in junior high Jean discovered his purpose in life though music. With his music, Jean hoped to bring people to a world where, at least for a while, everything was going to be okay and to make people feel good no matter what they were going through. Jean openly reveals the tensions and the intense love that he and Hill shared, and he candidly uncovers the gritty details of the Fugees’ multiplatinum success, The Score. Jean acts on his love and commitment to his homeland as he returns to Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake to help as best he can to rebuild his country. In his memoir’s final refrain, Jean reminds us that he’s always tried to live with purpose, as if every day were the last. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/25/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 250 pages - 978-0-06-196687-3
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-209897-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-220488-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-220509-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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