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Read for Books In The Woods -- a northern Minnesota excursion. The first chapter's language is worth working through. As you become more comfortable, it adds a wonderful layer to a story that is both compelling and delightful. High recommendations from me and the group in northern MN.
A reviewer at The Millions blog had a terrific piece on the idea of disappearance and vanishing and she included some book suggestions. He Drown She was one of the Canadian recommendations and my library had only one copy--at my branch. Meant to be! Really loved this book. Unlike any other which is certainly high praise. The action moves back and forth between Harry the adult man living in Vancouver, BC, and Harry (always called "the boy" in the island section) living his Caribbean life on a fictional island called Guanagaspar.
It is an epic in that the novel takes place over the course of generations. But to its credit and my delight, it didn't feel like an epic. I don't like epics. I don't like the arc of epics and He Drown She never lost its smallness in the fascinating and essential minutiae of daily life and the characters' desires--for autonomy, for freedom, for respect. We have characters whose ancestors were from India, characters whose ancestors were African slaves. Strong central characters, especially Dolly, Harry's mother. White people are unknown until they come to fortify the island at the beginning of WW2. Of course the island changes over time, but how the people change, the ones we come to know with great fondness--that is the core of the book.
The language is in dialect but it is not difficult. It's not a creole language, just their way of English. I heard the lilt as the words were spoken on the page.
I have a bunch of people in my life who like my taste in books and are eager for my recommendations. I have sent an email around telling them of this wonderfully original novel.
I can't believe there are no reviews for this novel. This was a moving story and was very well crafted. The story keeps you and holds you. I'm looking forward to reading more from this outstanding author. Check it out. You will like this novel.
This novel is sweet and captivating. The story is well written with prose that is almost lyrical. The portrayal of the fictional Guanagaspar gives a vivid and well researched picture of Trinidad in the early twentieth century. This is truly West Indian literature at its best.
Diese Autorin ist nach "Cereus blooms at Night" zu Unrecht wieder (ein wenig) in der Versenkung verschwunden. Auch "He drown She in the Sea" ist ein ganz großer Roman, der das Leben zwischen den Kulturen eines Auswanderers in Kanada der sehr sorgfältig mit einer Emanzipations- und Familiengeschichte auf der fiktiven karibischen Insel Guanagaspar verwebt. Die drei Handlungsstränge (Erzählung in Kanada, Erzählung in Guanagaspar, Erinnerungen des Neukanadiers an Guanagaspar) Handeln auf verschiedene Weise vom sich Behaupten gegen Erwartungen der Mehrheitsgesellschaft, auf Guanagaspar insbesondere auch von den besonderen Herausforderungen, die Tradition und Moderne an Frauen stellen. Erst allmählich werden die genaueren Verbindungen zwischen den Personen und Handlungssträngen klar – das löst Mootoo meisterhaft. Ebenfalls hoch gelungen ist die sprachliche Gestaltung, besonders die karibischen Passagen sind von unglaublich dichter Schönheit, wobei die Sprache stets klar bleibt. Hervorzuheben auch die Art, wie Mootoo durch den Einsatz von Pidgin die Atmosphäre vertieft, ohne in tumben Naturalismus zu verfallen - denken Sie an Roy, an Rushdie vielleicht, nicht an Dickens.