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From the Publisher"There are many layers to this tale of four bright and fun-loving but sad and cynical young people set in Toronto, where the city itself comes across as both gritty and vibrant, a mass of humanity where cultures collide, mingle and intersect…. This brand (pardon the pun) of fiction heralds the arrival of truly 21st-century CanLit, with a blend of races and cultures that reflects the urban realities of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and other cities across the country."
"Dionne Brand's What We All Long For is her third and most accomplished novel…. And it is not too much to say that Brand writes Toronto in this new novel as it has never been written before. . . . The craft of What We All Long For solidly establishes Brand as a literary contender. . . . She translates our desires and experience into a language, an art that allows us to voice that which we live, but could not utter or bring to voice until she did so for us. Yes, I am crediting Brand's art with tremendous power."
—The Globe and Mail
"Brand particularly lingers with her young characters, making them lovable in their beauty, loyalty, bravado, and vulnerability. Filmmaker, novelist, and poet, Brand draws on her multiple gifts in What We All Long For. . . . Brand’s most accomplished novel yet."
—Quill & Quire
"Wanna bliss out? Read Dionne Brand writing about Toronto. The opening of What We All Long For . . . is so vivid, so convincing, you wish it would go on for pages. . . . [The characters are] diverse, talented, bristling with rage, regret and guilt. . . . This is a straight-ahead narrative, craftily conceived so that the relationships morph and the tensions build. . . . It's some of the best writing you'll see this year."
—Susan G. Cole, NOW magazine
"What We All Long For [is] a complicated, curious, heartbreaking book about being on the margins and finding one’s own place, rather than trying to fit like a square peg into a round hole.... The scope of the story is broad, generous and ambitious, and Brand . . . speaks the lingo of her characters, their jive, their patois and their broken English, as if they were her own."
—The Gazette (Montreal)
"What We All Long For is an eminently satisfying novel, not only for its complexity and honesty but for the lyrical nature of its prose."
—Winnipeg Free Press
Praise for Dionne Brand:
“Brand has two gifts that are incendiary in combination: a concise and intelligent grasp of the subtleties of emotion and an apparently effortless facility with language. The result is an extraordinary ability to capture the flicker of experience.”
—The Globe and Mail
“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.”
—The Chronicle-Herald (Halifax)
“Brand’s style intoxicates. . . . [She] is one of the freshest, fiercest voices in Canadian letters.”
—The Edmonton Journal
“Brand’s is a voice both brave and beautiful.”
“You have to read the power of Dionne Brand’s language to appreciate just how much life poetry it expresses.”
—Morning Star (UK)