Brother

Brother

Book - 2017 | Hardcover edition.
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The long-awaited second novel from David Chariandy, whose debut, Soucouyant, was nominated for nearly every major literary prize in Canada and published internationally.


An intensely beautiful, searingly powerful, tightly constructed novel, Brother explores questions of masculinity, family, race, and identity as they are played out in a Scarborough housing complex during the sweltering heat and simmering violence of the summer of 1991.
With shimmering prose and mesmerizing precision, David Chariandy takes us inside the lives of Michael and Francis. They are the sons of Trinidadian immigrants, their father has disappeared and their mother works double, sometimes triple shifts so her boys might fulfill the elusive promise of their adopted home.
Coming of age in The Park, a cluster of town houses and leaning concrete towers in the disparaged outskirts of a sprawling city, Michael and Francis battle against the careless prejudices and low expectations that confront them as young men of black and brown ancestry -- teachers stream them into general classes; shopkeepers see them only as thieves; and strangers quicken their pace when the brothers are behind them. Always Michael and Francis escape into the cool air of the Rouge Valley, a scar of green wilderness that cuts through their neighbourhood, where they are free to imagine better lives for themselves.
Propelled by the pulsing beats and styles of hip hop, Francis, the older of the two brothers, dreams of a future in music. Michael's dreams are of Aisha, the smartest girl in their high school whose own eyes are firmly set on a life elsewhere. But the bright hopes of all three are violently, irrevocably thwarted by a tragic shooting, and the police crackdown and suffocating suspicion that follow.
With devastating emotional force David Chariandy, a unique and exciting voice in Canadian literature, crafts a heartbreaking and timely story about the profound love that exists between brothers and the senseless loss of lives cut short with the shot of a gun.

Publisher: Toronto, ON : McClelland & Stewart, 2017.
Edition: Hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9780771022906
Branch Call Number: FIC Chari
Characteristics: 180 pages ; 22 cm

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d
daysleeper236
May 18, 2019

Loved it. Kind of like a Canadian version of "The Hate U Give". Highly recommended.

b
blcwrites
Apr 30, 2019

My thanks to the library for ordering this remarkable book from a Canadian author. We know in the beginning that things may not turn out well and yet we find so much dignity in the observations made by Michael and Aisha and Jelly. What a wonderful book and no wonder it is considered a gem here and in Canada. A must read.

m
mclarjh
Apr 20, 2019

For teenage reader; more popular than literary.

d
dirtbag
Feb 13, 2019

Canada Reads 2019

Covers the visible minority experience in a rough neighborhood in Toronto.

b
becker
Feb 02, 2019

This was well written and the author nailed the sense of place and time.

s
Sarah_R33
Jan 25, 2019

While it's true that this book is sad, it's an essential read to understand what life might be like for those living in less privileged conditions. I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for something light and uplifting, but if you're looking to expand your horizons and step out of your comfort zone, I'd highly recommend this book. It's about loss and hopelessness, but it's also about family, love and the power we have to overcome great suffering.

That being said, I didn't find the ending of the book that sad. Without spoiling the plot, I felt it ended on a hopeful note.

h
hamerkop
Jan 15, 2019

Clearly should have been shortlisted for the Giller. This portrayal of
brotherly love, and of the despair and hopelessness of marginalized communities is fashioned with honesty and delicacy. This author holds great promise!

u
uncommonreader
Jan 13, 2019

This is quite a perfect book about "complicated grief", systemic racism and brotherly love.

s
singidunum_25
Jan 12, 2019

http://www.literaryhoarders.com/4-star-rating/giller-prize-longlisted-brother/

p
pohpoh
Nov 06, 2018

powerful, emotionally charged and beautifully written. Although I'm not from that world I can't help but have tremendous empathy and more understanding of the plight of the at risk youths and their parents struggling to provide a better life for their children but fail nonetheless.

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Notices

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c
csrestall
Jan 24, 2018

Sexual Content: sexual awakening and homosexuality

c
csrestall
Jan 24, 2018

Violence: fight scene, and violence/ murder

c
csrestall
Jan 24, 2018

Coarse Language: various swears

Age Suitability

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s
Sarah_R33
Jan 25, 2019

Sarah_R33 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

c
csrestall
Jan 24, 2018

csrestall thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Summary

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c
csrestall
Jan 24, 2018

Michael and his older brother Francis live in Toronto with their single mother. They are from Trinidadian decent. The story begins with a grown Michael welcoming a visting friend into their home, you can tell from the beginning that somthing is not right in the home. There are various stories relayed from the boys youth. Discussing when they used to play by the creek, a trip to the mall gone wrong, Michael going with his brother to the barber shop, fights and some abuse from their mother, the sexual awakening of Michael, two boys afraid of criminals, a one time trip to Trinidad, a failed reunion with their father, and a failed audition resulting in a brawl. There are also glimpses of the present. Michael talking with his friend Aisha, a rememberance party stopped abruptly, the injury of his mother and her hospitalization. The story comes to a close when the reader learns of Francis' death at the hands of the police. The death of her son causes the mother to have a mental break, and Michael to shut himself off from the world. The ending is quite abrupt as we dont see how the mother copes with the death and what happens to Michael.

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