The Origin of Waves

The Origin of Waves

by Austin Clarke
     
 

Austin Clarke’s luminous novel, written in vivid, hypnotic prose, reveals the dislocations of place and the nature of memory and the past. Two elderly Barbadian men, childhood friends who haven’t seen each other in fifty years, collide in a snowstorm on a Toronto street. In the warmth of a nearby bar, through the afternoon and into the night, they

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Overview

Austin Clarke’s luminous novel, written in vivid, hypnotic prose, reveals the dislocations of place and the nature of memory and the past. Two elderly Barbadian men, childhood friends who haven’t seen each other in fifty years, collide in a snowstorm on a Toronto street. In the warmth of a nearby bar, through the afternoon and into the night, they relate stories, exchange opinions, and share memories of a past in Barbados when, as children, neither could conceive any other place existed for them. As these two men confess to each other their innermost truths, their exploits and their love affairs, one tells the haunting story of a young Chinese woman, the other of the real reason for his visit to Toronto. Infused with pathos and humour, and with an affecting nostalgia for the idea of home, The Origin of Waves is a stunning and original novel by one of the country’s most gifted writers.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“As tough and uncompromising as it is tender and compassionate.…A glorious work of imagination and such a masterful piece of writing that it is impossible to overlook.”
–Kitchener-Waterloo Record

“A tough, raucous, bittersweet peeling-away of decorum, infused with ruminations on memory, history and the role of the past.”
Globe and Mail

“Exquisite and moving.”
Maclean’s

“There is a wonderful cadence to both the narrative and dialogue in this book, a seamless rhythm that seduces the reader and makes it impossible to put down.”
Edmonton Journal

“A vital, exquisitely written, and memorable novel.”
Quill & Quire

“An extraordinarily rewarding read.…The Origin of Waves is such a glorious work of imagination and such a masterful piece of writing that it is impossible to overlook.”
–Kitchener-Waterloo Record

“Uncommonly talented, Clarke sees deeply, and transmits his visions and perceptions so skillfully that reading him is an adventure.”
Publishers Weekly

“A book built to stand the dual tests of tradition and time.…Clarke’s prose shines.…”
Toronto Star

“Compelling.…Clarke writes a truly engaging story that’s hard to put down.”
Word Magazine

“A work of love, charm, wit.…Enchanting.…”
St. Catharine’s Standard

“Clarke is magnificent in transferring to print the music, the poetry, the complete aptness of the West Indian dialogue.…as near poetry as prose can become.”
Charlotte Observer

“He succeeds in making his pages brilliant.”
Boston Globe

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780771021305
Publisher:
McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
Publication date:
02/11/2003
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.38(w) x 8.39(h) x 0.57(d)

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