Book - 2007
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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 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

Publisher: Vancouver : Arsenal Pulp, c2007.
ISBN: 9781551522265
Characteristics: 200 p. ;,21 cm.


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Jun 18, 2017

Words well up like whispered confidences in this very personal story of a young man and his family relationships. Each tributary of the connections is explored and given life that allows us to view the meanderings and muddy waters. Beautifully detailed it parallels the folklore tradition that is mirrored in the title.

Mar 02, 2011

This book is gripping in all the best ways. It pulled me in emotionally, intellectually and physically. It felt like I was in a 3D book experience, as if I could almost reach out and touch the surroundings described. A great read.

Feb 01, 2009

For his first novel, David Chariandy handles a surprisingly complex story in an assured and compelling fashion. In the story of a young man returning to his home in Scarborough (Toronto) to care for his Trinidadian mother as she struggles with early onset dementia, Chariandy skilfully blends past and present, choreographs multiple plotlines and assembles a believable cast of vivid, diverse, intriguing and sympathetic characters.

Chariandy intertwines the themes of remembering and forgetting in a way that is haunting and fascinating. The flashbacks to Trinidad prompt me to seek out more about this country. This book is an immensely satisfying read on many levels. I look forward to what David Chariandy will do next.

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