A beautiful cross-cultural novel about loss, remembrance, and the unbreakable ties between mother and son.
A 'soucoyant' is an evil spirit in Caribbean lore, a reminder of past transgressions that refuse to diminish with age. In this beautifully told novel that crosses borders, cultures, and generations, a young man returns home to care for his aging mother, who suffers from dementia. In his efforts to help her and by turn make amends for their past estrangement from one another, he is compelled to re-imagine his mother's stories for her before they slip completely into darkness. In delicate, heartbreaking tones, the names for everyday things fade while at the same time a beautiful, haunted life, stained by grief, is slowly revealed.
This is an electrifying novel by an extremely gifted writer. "Soucouyant" is about personal history but it is also much more than that. It is about time and place and the individual's quest for a vantage point between the new world and the old. "Soucouyant" bridges geographic, cultural, and generational gaps, and it is 'told' with great beauty and sensitivity towards loss and pain that is extremely rare. The writing itself is of the highest order. This is a novel that will remain with readers for a long time.
Alistair MacLeod--Alistair MacLeod"Alistair MacLeod" (06/04/2007)
David Chariandy is a brilliant young writer whose novel, "Soucouyant", is tender and beautiful, but also as tough and craggy and precipitous as the Scarborough Bluffs where it is set. "Soucouyant" is about the disintegration of a mother's life, witnessed and described by her son with a compassionate accuracy, a man in the drifting soul of a woman. With careful brushstrokes and symphonic imagination, the author reveals to us the crises of filial love, of multicultural society, of language itself. The resulting narrative is magnificent.
Austin Clarke--Austin Clarke "Austin Clarke "