Cereus Blooms at Night

Shani Mootoo

Published by Press Gang Publishers, 1996
ISBN 10: 088974064X / ISBN 13: 9780889740648
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Synopsis: Shani Mootoo’s haunting debut took the international literary world by storm. A Book Sense selection and a finalist for the Giller Prize, the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, Cereus Blooms at Night is an exquisite cross-generational history filled with thrilling passion and alluring mystery.  Set in the fictional Caribbean town of Paradise, Cereus Blooms at Night unveils the mystery surrounding Mala Ramchandin, an aging, notoriously crazy woman suspected of murdering her father. When a judge finds Mala unfit to stand trial, she is delivered, frail and mute, to the Paradise Alms House and into the care of Tyler, a vivacious male nurse, who becomes the unlikely storyteller of Mala’s extraordinary life. In luminous, sensual prose, Mootoo explores identity, gender, and violence in a celebration of our capacity to love despite cruelty and despair.

Review: Cereus Blooms at Night, writer and artist Shani Mootoo's first novel, was a finalist for several of Canada's most prestigious literary awards, including the Giller Prize and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Tyler, the narrator of this multigenerational novel, is a gay male nurse at a residential home in Paradise, a town on the amazing fictional island of Lantanacamara. Tyler's favorite charge is the notorious Mala Ramchandin, whose past is as rich and mysterious as the island setting. Through dialogue and flashback Tyler learns of the colonialism and racism, love and envy, betrayal, incest, death, abandonment, and lesbian escape that are part of the complicated Ramchandin family history.

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Title: Cereus Blooms at Night
Publisher: Press Gang Publishers
Publication Date: 1996
Book Condition: Good
Edition: 1st ed.

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