Thursday, August 28, 2014

Amazon Book Reviews: Caribbean Authors — André Alexis

André Alexis (born 15 January 1957 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago) is a Canadian writer who grew up in Ottawa and currently lives in Toronto, Ontario. His debut novel, Childhood (1997), won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and was a co-winner of the Trillium Award. In addition to his writing, he is a member of the editorial board of This Magazine. — Read more:

This is a review for Childhood: A Novel by André Alexis - The story follows the life of Thomas MacMillan from early childhood until the death of his mother, Katerina, and Henry Wing, one of his mother's lovers. The main characters are superbly drawn while Thomas remains for us only a wispy image generated by his thoughts. The love of Henry for Katerina is constant, undemanding and rises above the everyday demands of mere mortals. Katerina, on the other hand moves by her own light and one is never sure if she is capable of loving and one wonders too what has caused this strange disconnectedness. There are wryly funny sections and clear bright narrative bits that draw the reader in. At the end one realizes that the story is touchingly sentimental while being questioningly honest. I liked the book but had a strange unsatisfied feeling when I was finished. I wanted to know more of Henry, Katerina and Thomas. Read more:

This is a review for Despair: And Other Stories by André Alexis - Andre Alexis' fiction collection, Despair and other stories, deals with relationships, love, and the darkness within us all. The stories are often fantastical, with a great deal of horror and humor, but they speak to real situations, fears, and life. Recurring themes are of dreams (especially nightmares), family, hands and fingers (or the absence of such), types of cloth, coincidence, sex, and death. The characters use each other (most notable in the story of a soucouyant), often acting cruelly. They then have philosophical discussions or meditations about good and evil, right and wrong, god, and the purpose of life. The stories do tend to end abruptly, with a sense of things left unfinished, unsaid, and unexplained, but this serves a purpose and leaves one feeling unsettled rather than unsatisfied. Read more:

This is a review for A (Department of Narrative Studies) by André Alexis - A is a work of fiction in which André Alexis presents the compelling narrative of Alexander Baddeley, a Toronto book reviewer obsessed with the work of the elusive and mythical poet Avery Andrews. Baddeley is in awe of Andrews’s ability as a poet – more than anything he wants to understand the inspiration behind his work – so much so that, following in the footsteps of countless pilgrims throughout literary history, Baddeley tracks Andrews down thinking that meeting his literary hero will provide some answers. Their meeting results in a meditation and a revelation about the creative act itself that generates more and more questions about what it means to be “inspired.” Read more:

André Alexis reading from A at BookThug 2013 Book Launch video by Jay MillAr

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