Origins of Waves

Origins of Waves

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by Austin Clarke
     
 

It is Christmastime in Toronto. Two elderly Barbadian men, close friends from childhood who haven’t seen each other for close to fifty years, literally collide in a snowstorm. They repair to the warmth of a nearby bar where, through the afternoon and night, they exchange stories and opinions on just about everything, and share memories of the past – of an…  See more details below

Overview

It is Christmastime in Toronto. Two elderly Barbadian men, close friends from childhood who haven’t seen each other for close to fifty years, literally collide in a snowstorm. They repair to the warmth of a nearby bar where, through the afternoon and night, they exchange stories and opinions on just about everything, and share memories of the past – of an afternoon they spent together as boys on a beach in Barbados, when neither could conceive any other place existed for them.

As they bring each other up to date on their lives over the intervening years, John brags of his exploits around the world, in New York, Paris, the southern U.S., about his brood of children and his international set of wives. Tim is seemingly reticent, guarded, fending off John’s directness about all matters of the heart and libido. Tim, alone now, has lived in Toronto for many years. At once part of the city yet longing for a home which no longer exists, he is stranded amid memories of loss.

Gradually the two men reveal their innermost truths, and we learn the haunting story of Lang, a young Chinese woman Tim loved all too briefly, and of the real reason for John’s visit to Toronto.

Fresh, lively, affecting, infused with pathos and humour, The Origin of Waves is a tour de force, written in prose that is both poetic and provocative. The novel, Austin Clarke’s first in eleven years, explores the dislocations of place and the nature of memory and the past, and renews his reputation as one of the most talented novelists of the day.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780771021275
Publisher:
McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
Publication date:
01/01/1997
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.66(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.82(d)

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