Soucouyant

Category: Book
By (author): Chariandy, David
Subject:  FICTION / Canadian
  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Literary
Audience: general/trade
Awards: City of Toronto Book Award (2008) Short-listed
ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award (GOLD) (2008) Winner
Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award (2008) Short-listed
Commonwealth Writers Prize (First Book) (2008) Short-listed
Scotiabank Giller Prize (2007) Long-listed
IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (2009) Long-listed
Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction (2007) Short-listed
Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize (2008) Short-listed
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press, Arsenal Pulp Press
Published: July 2007
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 200
Size: 8.00in x 5.50in x 0.50in
Our Price:
$ 19.95
Availability:
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

By the award-winning author of Brother Finalist, Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction Longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize Longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Winner, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award (GOLD), Literary Fiction Shortlisted for Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize (BC Book Prizes) Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book Shortlisted for City of Toronto Book Award Shortlisted for the Amazon.ca/Books In Canada First Novel Award Shortlisted for the ReLit Award, Best Novel Shortlisted for One Book, One Vancouver Featured on CBC's "Between the Covers"

A soucouyant is an evil spirit in Caribbean folklore, and a symbol here of the distant and dimly remembered legacies that continue to haunt the Americas. This extraordinary first novel set in Ontario, in a house near the Scarborough Bluffs, focuses on a Canadian-born son who despairingly abandons his Caribbean-born mother suffering from dementia.

The son returns after two years to confront his mother but also a young woman who now mysteriously occupies the house. In his desire to atone for his past and live anew, he is compelled to imagine his mother's life before it all slips into darkness―her arrival in Canada during the early sixties, her childhood in Trinidad during World War II, and her lurking secret that each have tried to forget.

Luminously poetic, Soucouyant marks the arrival of a major new literary talent in Canada.

German-language rights sold to Suhrkamp

French-language rights sold to Editions Zoe

Albanian-language rights sold to Shkupi (Macedonia)

Film option sold to Ian Harnarine and Jon Malkiel
Review Quote*This elegant and accomplished book strikes me as Southern in its historical preoccupation with racism, violence, and dispossession, and the impact of these things on contemporary experience.... This is a very successful novel, partly due to an unerring consistency of tone, which is eerie and melancholic, but also due to Chariandy's tender portrayal of Adele, whose exuberant spirit, even in fragile, deepest madness, is never entirely extinguished. Chariandy is an observant, eloquent writer. -Toronto Star
Review Quote*This is an electrifying novel by an extremely gifted writer. Soucouyant is about personal history but it is also much more than that. It is about time and place and the individual's quest for a vantage point between the new world and the old. Soucouyant bridges geographic, cultural, and generational gaps, and it is 'told' with great beauty and sensitivity towards loss and pain that is extremely rare. The writing itself is of the highest order. This is a novel that will remain with readers for a long time. -Alistair MacLeod
Review Quote*David Chariandy is a brilliant young writer whose novel, Soucouyant, is tender and beautiful, but also as tough and craggy and precipitous as the Scarborough Bluffs where it is set. Soucouyant is about the disintegration of a mother's life, witnessed and described by her son with a compassionate accuracy, a man in the drifting soul of a woman. With careful brushstrokes and symphonic imagination, the author reveals to us the crises of filial love, of multicultural society, of language itself. The resulting narrative is magnificent. -Austin Clarke
Review Quote*David Chariandy fully inhabits his story, his authorial labours surefooted and invisible. His closing chapter reprises that authenticity, revealing childhood horrors that shock us to a final understanding. -The Globe & Mail
Review Quote*A haunting coming-of-age story. -Publishers Weekly
Review Quote*Not many books have re-read appeal, at least not to a critic. But after finishing David Chariandy's Soucouyant, I returned to the beginning and started all over again, finding renewed pleasure in each lyrical line.... Chariandy's heart-wrenching tale of a son trying to reconnect with a mother who has sunk deep into the mysterious nowhere land of Alzheimer's leaves a deep imprint upon the soul.... The texture of his prose is silken, his phrasing melodic. -Montreal Gazette
Review Quote*Soucouyant moves fluidly between past and present. Chariandy's writing is filled with striking details, moments both humorous and poignant and solid narrative pacing.... The demons that come to life in this powerful story of remembrance will seem familiar if you've ever tried to make amends for past errors, or loved someone through the anguish of forgetting. -Vancouver Sun
Review Quote*Soucouyant pulses with life and vigour, even as it breaks under the weight of age and sorrow. Chariandy writes with a rich clarity that never feels cluttered, an elliptical approach to both characterization and storytelling that feels utterly natural and unmannered. Rooting the novel in both the domestic and the fabulous, he avoids the pitfalls of each; in weaving the disparate strands together, he is able to explore the deep mysteries at the heart of families and individuals to find the truth at their core. It's a delicate balancing act, and Chariandy never falters. The result is a novel that's impossible to predict, and impossible to pin down. To read it is to be reminded of the power of writing, of storytelling, of lives laid bare, in all their secrets and mysteries, on the page. -National Post
Biographical NoteDavid Chariandy is an assistant professor in the English department at Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, BC, Canada), specializing in world literature with a focus on Anglo-Caribbean work. He is also co-writing a book on contemporary diasporic theory. This is his first novel.