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Divisadero (Vintage International) (Paperback)
Fall '08/Winter '09 Reading Group List
“This spellbinding new novel revolves around three adopted siblings whose lives break apart and eventually reconnect years later. Their story parallels another unusual family unit, a reclusive writer and his gypsy neighbors searching for a peaceful life in post-war France. As usual, Ondaatje's storytelling is highly individual and utterly hypnotizing, as story leads into story, and the reader arrives at the end with a longing to turn to page one and begin again.”
— Rich Rennicks, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC
From the celebrated author of The English Patient and Anil's Ghost comes a remarkable, intimate novel of intersecting lives that ranges across continents and time. In the 1970s in Northern California a father and his teenage daughters, Anna and Claire, work their farm with the help of Coop, an enigmatic young man who makes his home with them. Theirs is a makeshift family, until it is shattered by an incident of violence that sets fire to the rest of their lives. Divisadero takes us from San Francisco to the raucous backrooms of Nevada's casinos and eventually to the landscape of southern France. As the narrative moves back and forth through time and place, we find each of the characters trying to find some foothold in a present shadowed by the past.
About the Author
Michael Ondaatje is the author of four previous novels, a memoir, a nonfiction book on film, and eleven books of poetry. His novel The English Patient won the Booker Prize. Born in Sri Lanka, he moved to Canada in 1962 and now lives in Toronto.
"Ravishing and intricate. . . . Unforgettable." —Pico Iyer, The New York Review of Books“My life always stops for a new book by Michael Ondaatje. . . . [Divisadero is] a mosaic of profound dignity, with an elegiac quietude that only the greatest of writers can achieve. . . . Ondaatje's finest novel to date.” —Jhumpa Lahiri"The more you give Divisadero, the more it gives in return . . . . [Ondaatje] is a writer of intense acuity." —The New York Times"Brilliant. . . . Divisadero plays whimsically with chronology and memory, with fantasy and historical fact." —San Francisco Chronicle