Beautiful and meticulously wrought, set in both Toronto and the Caribbean, this astonishing novel gives voice to the power of love and belonging in a story of two women, profoundly different, each in her own spiritual exile.
About Dionne Brand
As a young girl growing up in Trinidad, Dionne Brand submitted poems to the newspapers under the pseudonym Xavier Simone, an homage to Nina Simone, whom she would listen to late at night on the radio. Brand moved to Canada when she was 17 to attend the University of Toronto, where she earned a degree in Philosophy and English, a Masters in the Philosophy of Education and pursued PhD studies in Women’s History but left the program to make time for creative writing.
Dionne Brand first came to prominence in Canada as a poet. Her books of poetry include No Language Is Neutral, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award, and Land to Light On, winner of the Governor General’ s Award and the Trillium Award and thirsty, finalist for the Griffin Prize and winner of the Pat Lowther Award for poetry. Brand is also the author of the acclaimed novels In Another Place, Not Here, which was shortlisted for the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Trillium Award, and At the Full and Change of the Moon. Her works of non-fiction include Bread Out of Stone and A Map to the Door of No Return.
What We All Long For was published to great critical acclaim in 2005. While writing the novel, Brand would find herself gazing out the window of a restaurant in the very Toronto neighbourhood occupied by her characters. “I’d be looking through the window and I’d think this is like the frame of the book, the frame of reality: ‘There they are: a young Asian woman passing by with a young black woman passing by, with a young Italian man passing by,” she says in an interview with The Toronto Star. A recent Vanity Fair article quotes her as saying “I’ve ‘read’ New York and London and Paris. And I thought this city needs to be written like that, too.”
In addition to her literary accomplishments, Brand is Professor of English in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph.
"A fierce, sensuous novel of women in migration, political and emotional. Concrete and visionary as a dream, relentless as the history it reveals, In Another Place, Not Here is a work of great beauty and moral imagination." —Adrienne Rich
"With this book, this marvellous love letter, Brand emerges as a writer of the first rank.... She combines folklore with poetry in a manner that recalls Michael Ondaatje, and she writes reportage like Mavis Gallant. This book is one of the classics of our culture." — Halifax Chronicle-Herald
"...One of the best Canadian [novels] that I have read in the last ten years. [It] touches the centre of Canadian experience, dealing with our racism, embracing the possibility of confrontation and of cure." —Austin Clarke, The Toronto Star
"This is simply a stunning book." --The Globe and Mail
"A sensuous, lyrical work of fiction in the tradition of one of [Brand's] favorite American authors: Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison." —Toronto Star
"A beautiful book that moves the reader with its evocative language, often closer to poetry than prose, and its insights in the immigrant experience of Caribbean women." —Montreal Gazette
"Brand's style intoxicates.... [She] is one of the freshest, fiercest voices in Canadian letters... There are dizzying, intoxicating verbal acrobatics on almost every page, passages of painfully lyric beauty." —Edmonton Journal
"Luscious...as sensuous as the smooth coral pulp of mangoes." —Ottawa Citizen
"Brand's mesmerizing voice lures the reader through a plot that oscillates between past and present. Her rendering of the island's slave history is sublimely evocative...The novel reinforces Brand's status as a significant voice for the Caribbean-Canadian experience." —Maclean's
"At times almost a poem with snatches of breathtakingly beautiful language, this is no work of a beginner...Brand's prose takes up residence on your tongue, demanding to be read and spoken aloud." —The Financial Post
"Startling, as if we had entered the heart of another human being." —Books in Canada
"Two worlds collide in this intense, sensuous first novel from a filmmaker, poet and essayist ... powerful ..." —Publishers Weekly
"Dionne Brand's debut novel is a work of artistic boldness ... a must-read book ..." —MS magazine
"Her debut novel reads with the urgent intensity of a wail that continues to echo." —The Washington Post Book World
"Passionate in its attention to emotional nuance and vusual detail, In Another Place, Not Here weds beauty and a fierce intelligence in a work that offers a syncretic and multiple sense of place. —The New York Times Book Review
"You have to read the power of Dionne Brand's language to appreciate just how much life poetry it expresses... In Another Place Not Here breaks new paths in fiction." —Morning Star (UK)