In Another Place, Not Hereby Dionne Brand
Acclaimed by Adrienne Rich as "fierce, sensuous . . . a work of great beauty and moral imagination," In Another Place, Not Here tells of two contemporary Caribbean women who find brief refuge in each other on an island in the midst of political uprising. Elizete, dreaming of running to another place to escape the harshness of her daily life on the island, meets… See more details below
Acclaimed by Adrienne Rich as "fierce, sensuous . . . a work of great beauty and moral imagination," In Another Place, Not Here tells of two contemporary Caribbean women who find brief refuge in each other on an island in the midst of political uprising. Elizete, dreaming of running to another place to escape the harshness of her daily life on the island, meets Verlia, an urban woman in constant flight who has returned to her island birthplace with hopes of revolution. Their tumultuous story moves between city and island, past and future, fantasy and reality.
The account of Elizete and Verlia's meeting, their love, and their tragic parting is told in sections that are an uneasy mix of poetic dreams on the one hand and politics on the other (Marx, Che, Fanon, and other Left-ish idols are quoted). Elizete, abandoned by her mother, begins with her memories of being brought up by a childless woman who told her stories of the slaves and their secret rebellions. When the woman died, Elizete was "given" to Isaiah, a brutal farmworker who beat and raped her. But her miserable life spent satisfying Isaiah by night and cutting cane by day changes when Verlia arrives from Canada. Verlia has come to organize the local cane-workers. (The island is nameless, but it's history resembles that of Grenada.) The two women fall in love, and after the uprising fails, Elizete heads to Toronto in search of Verlia, who by then has disappeared. In Toronto, she experiences anguish and repeated (and melodramatic) indignities. The rigidity of the political subtextthe wickedness of whites and the inadequacies of menrepeatedly subverts the story. After many travails, Elizete arrives at a center run by Abena, a former lover of Verlia's. Verlia, also Caribbean-born, in turn describes her feelings of alienation from her birthplace; her journey to Canada, which ended not in a college education but in service in of the political movement; the comfort of Elizete's affection; and the failure of the revolution she helped make. Love like theirs is doomed, and as the revolt is quashed, Verlia, it turns out, has come to a bitter end.
Luminous prose and some on-target insights into the immigrant experience, but the polemic and the passion seem more contrived, however artfully addressed, than fresh and persuasive.
"With this book, this marvellous love letter, Brand emerges as a writer of the first rank.... She combines folklore with poetry in a manner that recalls Michael Ondaatje, and she writes reportage like Mavis Gallant. This book is one of the classics of our culture." — Halifax Chronicle-Herald
"...One of the best Canadian [novels] that I have read in the last ten years. [It] touches the centre of Canadian experience, dealing with our racism, embracing the possibility of confrontation and of cure." —Austin Clarke, The Toronto Star
"This is simply a stunning book." --The Globe and Mail
"A sensuous, lyrical work of fiction in the tradition of one of [Brand's] favorite American authors: Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison." —Toronto Star
"A beautiful book that moves the reader with its evocative language, often closer to poetry than prose, and its insights in the immigrant experience of Caribbean women." —Montreal Gazette
"Brand's style intoxicates.... [She] is one of the freshest, fiercest voices in Canadian letters... There are dizzying, intoxicating verbal acrobatics on almost every page, passages of painfully lyric beauty." —Edmonton Journal
"Luscious...as sensuous as the smooth coral pulp of mangoes." —Ottawa Citizen
"Brand's mesmerizing voice lures the reader through a plot that oscillates between past and present. Her rendering of the island's slave history is sublimely evocative...The novel reinforces Brand's status as a significant voice for the Caribbean-Canadian experience." —Maclean's
"At times almost a poem with snatches of breathtakingly beautiful language, this is no work of a beginner...Brand's prose takes up residence on your tongue, demanding to be read and spoken aloud." —The Financial Post
"Startling, as if we had entered the heart of another human being." —Books in Canada
"Two worlds collide in this intense, sensuous first novel from a filmmaker, poet and essayist ... powerful ..." —Publishers Weekly
"Dionne Brand's debut novel is a work of artistic boldness ... a must-read book ..." —MS magazine
"Her debut novel reads with the urgent intensity of a wail that continues to echo." —The Washington Post Book World
"Passionate in its attention to emotional nuance and vusual detail, In Another Place, Not Here weds beauty and a fierce intelligence in a work that offers a syncretic and multiple sense of place. —The New York Times Book Review
"You have to read the power of Dionne Brand's language to appreciate just how much life poetry it expresses... In Another Place Not Here breaks new paths in fiction." —Morning Star (UK)
- Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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- 1 GROVE PR
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
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