Shani Mootoo Cereus Blooms at Night

ISBN 13: 9781862072497

Cereus Blooms at Night

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9781862072497: Cereus Blooms at Night
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At the heart of this compelling novel lies a disappearance, and a crime which may have been committed many years before the story opens. When Mala, old and notoriously crazy, arrives at the Paradise Alms House, she is placed in the tender care of Tyler, a gay male nurse, and an extraordinary relationship begins to unfold. Who is Mala Ramchandin, and what lies behind her madness? In telling the many stories of Mala adventurer, protector, recluse and madwoman - we learn the truth about her father, Chandin, the once-favoured child taken in by missionary colonialists; her mother and her white lover, Lavinia Thoroughly; her lost sister, Asha; and the mysterious but kindly visitors Otoh and Ambrose Mohanty. Combining diverse storytelling traditions, Shani Mootoo's luminous writing explores identity, gender and violence in a celebration of our capacity to love, and to survive cruelty and despair.

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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.

From the Back Cover:

Shani Mootoo's haunting and evocative debut novel has taken the international literary world by storm. A finalist for the 1997 Giller Prize, the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, Cereus Blooms at Night has established Shani Mootoo as one of our most gifted new storytellers.

Set on a fictional Caribbean island in the town of Paradise, Cereus Blooms at Night unveils the mystery surrounding Mala Ramchandin and the tempestuous history of her family. At the heart of this bold and seductive novel is an alleged crime committed many years before the story opens. Mala is the aging, notoriously crazy woman suspected of murder who is delivered to the Paradise Alms House after a judge finds her unfit to stand trial. When she arrives at her new home, frail and mute, she is placed in the tender care of Tyler, a vivacious male nurse, who becomes her unlikely confidant and the storyteller of Mala's extraordinary life.

In luminous, sensual prose that "employs myth and magic reminiscent of Isabel Allende" (Out magazine), Mootoo joins diverse storytelling traditions to explore identity, gender, and violence in a celebration of our capacity to love despite cruelty and despair.

"A story of magical power."-Alice Munro

"Cereus Blooms at Night is dazzling. . . . Mootoo creates a dense, vocal and unique Asian-Caribbean world of buried secrets and desperate memories, a hothouse in which stories grow as lushly as flowers."-Books in Canada

"A swirling cauldron of cross-generational history filled with violence, romance, aching beauty and heart-breaking mystery."-Sojourners

"Cereus Blooms at Night is a gem, a wonderful flower of a first novel; Shani Mootoo can be counted as one of our most gifted writers."-Vancouver Sun

"Mootoo weaves a deft design of vivid and sensuous scenes . . . [She] has given us a memorable lesson in the value of love, whatever guise it may wear."-Quill and Quire

"Shani Mootoo digs deep into the heart of classic storytelling, expanding, sculpting, and molding what is expected into a completely fresh approach to narrative. Her language and characters seduce us away to a mythic place that is, by turns, as sweet as the first knowing of love and as hard as a callous blow. Inside the grand sweep of the story are the finely tuned details which mark a brilliant storyteller."-Jewelle Gomez

Shani Mootoo was born in Ireland and grew up in Trinidad. A filmmaker and visual artist, she has written and directed several videos; her paintings and photo-based works are exhibited internationally. Shani Mootoo is also a published poet and the author of Out on Main Street, a collection of stories. Cereus Blooms at Night is her first novel.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780802144621: Cereus Blooms at Night

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0802144624 ISBN 13:  9780802144621
Publisher: Grove Press, 2009
Softcover

9780380731992: Cereus Blooms at Night: A Novel

Harper..., 1999
Softcover

9780802116338: Cereus Blooms at Night

Grove Pr, 1998
Hardcover

9780771064005: Cereus Blooms at Night

Grove ..., 1998
Softcover

9780889740648: Cereus Blooms at Night

Press ..., 1996
Softcover

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