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Dionne Brand

Forfatter af What We All Long For

32+ Works 1,304 Members 26 Reviews 3 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Dionne Brand was born in 1953 in Guayguayare, Trinidad and was educated at the University of Toronto and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Brand was the founder and editor of Our Lives, Canada's first newspaper for black women. She has also worked on Fuse Magazine, The Harriet Tubman vis mere Review, Canadian Women Studies, and Research for Feminist Research. She also belongs to several community organizations including the Immigrant Women's Center and the Caribbean Peoples' Development Agency. Brand's involvement in politics is prevalent in her books, Chronicles of the Hostile Sun, Rivers Have Sources, Trees Have Roots: Speaking of Racism and Primitive Offensive, and Land to Light On, for which she received a Governor General's Award. Brand has also directed Sister's in Struggle, Long Time Comin' and Older, Stronger, Wiser for the National Film Board of Canada. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre

Includes the name: Dionne Brand

Image credit: toronto.ca

Værker af Dionne Brand

What We All Long For (2005) 227 eksemplarer
In Another Place, Not Here (1996) 174 eksemplarer
A Map to the Door of No Return (2001) 133 eksemplarer
At the Full and Change of the Moon (1999) 119 eksemplarer
No Language Is Neutral (1990) 73 eksemplarer
Land to Light On (1997) 53 eksemplarer
Sans Souci: And Other Stories (1988) 52 eksemplarer
Thirsty (2002) 45 eksemplarer
Ossuaries (2010) 45 eksemplarer
Inventory (2005) 44 eksemplarer
Theory (2018) 43 eksemplarer
Earth Magic (1979) 33 eksemplarer
Love Enough (2014) 32 eksemplarer

Associated Works

From Ink Lake: Canadian Stories (1990) — Bidragyder — 130 eksemplarer
Piece of My Heart: A Lesbian of Colour Anthology (1991) — Bidragyder — 112 eksemplarer
Poems Between Women (1997) — Bidragyder — 93 eksemplarer
The Vintage Book of International Lesbian Fiction (1999) — Bidragyder — 77 eksemplarer
The New Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories (1986) — Bidragyder — 73 eksemplarer
A Caribbean Dozen (1994) — Bidragyder — 70 eksemplarer
Granta 141: Canada (2017) — Bidragyder — 58 eksemplarer
Dykewords (1990) — Bidragyder — 50 eksemplarer
Story of a Nation: Defining Moments in Our History (2001) — Bidragyder — 50 eksemplarer
Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought (2021) — Bidragyder — 40 eksemplarer
No Margins: Canadian Fiction in Lesbian (2006) — Bidragyder — 31 eksemplarer
The Oxford Book of Stories by Canadian Women in English (1999) — Forfatter, nogle udgaver30 eksemplarer
Bittersweet (1998) — Bidragyder — 10 eksemplarer

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I really love reading books that are set in Toronto. There's something really familiar and cozy about recognizing place names and picturing them in your head while you read. While I didn't totally connect with all of the characters in this book, Brand's prose is so lyrical and beautiful to read. The vignettes of lives were nice - perfect for me because I don't think I'd want to read something more in depth about each character, but these snapshots were great. A fast read.
katebrarian | 1 anden anmeldelse | Jul 28, 2020 |
there are some really, really lovely parts of this - parts that make it obvious that she's a poet - but most of this was just too hard for me. i'm glad i read it for those bits, but overall this was very difficult and i know i missed some of it.

the book opens in dialect, and it's tough to understand. i read probably about 60 pages, not entirely sure what i'd read, and then started over. it made a lot more sense on the second reading, and i found that i probably read most of this book in short parts, back and forth, 2-4 times, trying to understand what i was reading. i know i didn't get it all.

i really had a hard time with elizete's sections, while verlia's were far easier for me. (since they weren't in dialect.) it's been a while since i had to work this hard with a book and maybe i was just underprepared for this one, but it was a bit too much for me, unfortunately.

still, the story of wanting to bring on the revolution, the near slavery, the description of being an immigrant, the surprise at finding love - these were beautiful. i don't think i've ever read so clearly what it's like to be in a new place where nothing is familiar, what it must be like to have just come to a new country. incredible. some of this was amazing, i just wish i'd been able to stay in it the whole time, to really get it and appreciate it all.

i think if i'd read it over again, from the beginning, after finishing, that i might have appreciated it more. there's a lot here, and i'm sure it's much better than i'm giving it credit for.

"...because nothing ever happen to me until Verl come along and when Verl come along I see my chance out of what ordinary, out of the plenty day when all it have for a woman to do is lie down and let a man beat against she body, and work cane and chop up she foot and make children and choke on the dryness in she chest and have only one road in and the same road out and know that she tied to the ground and can never lift up."

"A woman can be a bridge..."

"They had not come here willingly looking for food or water or liking the way the place set off against the sky or even for hunger. They had not come because the hunting was good or the ground moist for planting. They had not come moving into the forest just after the rainy season. They had not come because they saw great cities foreshadowed in the horizon or rum shops sprawling with their dancing and laughter. Not because a shape overtook them in geometry or because after observing speeding clouds they coveted a new landfall. They had been taken. Plain. Hard. Rough. Swept up from thinking of the corn to be shucked, the rains coming or no rain coming at all for the season, that patch of high grass to clear. The mist gathering at their feet. The steam of baking. Poised over a well, the bag lowered, they had been plucked, or, caught in the misfortune of a wedding or a war, sold."

"She could not get her mind to recognize this place. ...If she could just recognize something it would be all right. ...She saw light always bright turned on in the daytime, all day long as if the sky was not enough... After months she still saw no birds to speak of or the same birds, no river to speak of, no mountains to speak of, no grass to speak of, no moon to speak of. Especially no moon. And no ocean or sea. No sound that was the usual sound, no chorus of beetles, crickets, frogs beginning with night, ending with morning. And since this was how she knew the signs of things, she was lost. ...The noise, the everlasting noise came from nothing she could recognize, no particular machine, just the noise of machinery; but machinery past the individualism of a machine, machines lost from identity. The mouth of them wide open in a yawn. She didn't sleep because of the everlasting noise. She couldn't get used to it. Couldn't sleep for thinking what noise it was, wanting to distinguish it, this is the noise of this, this is the noise of that. Icebox and wire and light-brighter-than-the-moon noise, pitch, crack and the iron haw six o'clock noise of the garbage truck, and the noise nobody makes but the radiator, sighing and knocking in its metal slip. ...This is how she would come to know a place but somehow this place resisted knowing. When she tried calling it something, the words would not come. Not easy, not easy at all. Cling to me vine, dust trace walk, water behind me, water in front me bush, take in front track, blind face man, drop me down here fruit. She would not come to know this place no matter how much she walked it, no matter if she set herself to knowing, she could not size it up. It resisted knowing, the words would not come. ...This city was imaginary that's all. That's all."

"I wouldn't call nothing that we do love because love too simple. All the soft-legged oil, all the nakedness brushing, all the sup of neck and arms and breasts. All that touching. Nothing simple about it. All that opening like breaking bones."
… (mere)
overlycriticalelisa | 1 anden anmeldelse | Jul 29, 2019 |
i liked it better as i got into it. probably how i would write my life story.
mahallett | 1 anden anmeldelse | Sep 28, 2016 |
"Yes, June collects sadness. What would happen if no one remembered sadness? We’d walk around mutilated and mutilating and not know how we got there or have any remorse."

Perhaps this is as true of the author, Dionne Brand, as it is of June in Love Enough, for characters in In Another Place, Not Here and What We All Long For seem to embody this quality as well.

Love Enough seems to simultaneously rail against this tendency and honour it. It is a mass of contradictions (as is love, itself): beautifully and hauntingly expressed.

Throughout the narrative, many characters come up against uncomfortable truths. They have believed something or someone to be true; instead, they have misunderstood.

"If you were to notice every small physical gesture of an individual person and if you observed those small gestures over the course of a year and a half, say, and if you were to lose that person you should be able to find that person. Like tracking the genome sequence, but the genome sequence of gestures. You should be able to find that person. You should."

You should. You should be able to.

But the implication is that you cannot.

But, why not?

Perhaps we are tracking the wrong trail.

"As we all do, June had expected her own reflection in the lover’s face. Her reflection being a benign understanding. But the lover’s face, in the end, was fierce and foreign. It wasn’t the same person. Not someone June knew at all."

A novel about the nature of love might be sprawling to afford the opportunity to contain all those unanswerable questions, but Dionne Brand is a poet. One expects precision of language and Love Enough exhibits this. A single sentence, for all its simplicity, may have been laboured on for hours. (Another contradiction.)

"The woman loves being loved, more than she loves. That the man loves her is more compelling than whether she loves him. But sometimes, as now, she is overwhelmed by this love and breaks off to the lake or to the red underwings of a black bird."

Some of the statements seem also mythic in their universality. And the philosophical link between love and freedom (strikingly illustrated on the cover), connection and disconnection, is explored in layers. "To be lost or to be free."

"They weren’t old men really, his father and his uncle, but they seemed old because of how their life was. It was all in the past tense. And when they told him what he should do, he felt as it they were welcoming him to some petrified life. So he had separated himself from them, separated himself from the grim warmth around the counter at Bilan. He felt left."

With such exacting prose, it's ironic that chaos lurks beneath. Disorder. Happiness?

"And people with ordered lives always think that people whose lives are in disorder are looking for their kind of order. They think their kind of order is happiness, when their kind of order is gluttony and selfishness. And with all this order, June thinks, we are creating wreckage and disorder, piling it up like a midden."

There lies a midden of emotions.

"Then is when she decided that you had to keep the noise of other people out of you. This is when she knew the only recourse was to watch and wait. Wait, because you can’t change people, you can only change yourself."

With those you love, you must disconnect. And yet there is cost not only with the unfiltered noise of love, but also with the protective layer of silence.

"He’s disappeared into the elements of mayhem and randomness. They are indeed elements, June thinks, like iron or mercury. Of course June knows she’s being a little precious. She laughs at herself out loud. Right now she is probably an odd-looking woman in the coffee shop. She looks around and laughs again. Everybody in the coffee shop is odd-looking except those who have someone sitting across from them talking. Companionship makes you look sane."

Is it even about love? Perhaps, something else? Perhaps survival.

"You have to survive people. You meet people and sometimes you have no control of that, and then it’s a simple matter of waiting them out."

Sometimes the shortest sentences contain the greatest amount of confusion: "(No one thinks they’ve been loved enough.)"

What one character muses is true, too, of a novel like Love Enough. "It is hard if you really want to do it right."

It's very difficult to produce a tightly honed novel on a subject which suggests that any book considering the matter should be the length of Anna Karenina or Kristin Lavransdatter.

Dionne Brand makes it look easy.

This review originally appeared on BuriedInPrint.
… (mere)
buriedinprint | 1 anden anmeldelse | Feb 25, 2015 |



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