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The Bread the Devil Knead - Lisa Allen-Agostini

The Bread the Devil Knead

By: Lisa Allen-Agostini

Paperback | 15 July 2021 | Edition Number 1

At a Glance

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This rich, raw and urgent debut novel is a domestic noir of sex and survival set in Trinidad's capital.

Alethea Lopez is about to turn 40. A fashionable, mixed-race boutique manager who lives and works in Trinidad's capital city, Port of Spain, she is feisty, fiercely independent and morally ambiguous. Her secrets show only in her bruised skin and the occasional glimpse into her shattered sense of self.

When Alethea witnesses a woman murdered by her jealous lover, her eyes are opened to the lives of the women all around her: from her colleague Tamika, who is engaged to marry an unfaithful man, and her childhood best friend Jankie, the teenage bride of their PE teacher, to her own mother, Marcia, who allowed her daughter to be sexually abused in exchange for the family's financial and emotional stability.

In first-person Creole, Alethea brings us her truth in an arresting, unsparing Trinidadian voice. As her story unfolds, we see her navigate a dangerous path between her abusive partner Leo, a failed musician who wants to own her body and soul, and the spineless boss she sleeps with only to preserve her personal power. But when she is reunited with her adopted brother, decades after they parted, memories and family secrets begin to unlock and she starts to understand the person she has become.

Alethea's next step is to decide on the woman she wants to be.

About the Author

Lisa Allen-Agostini is a writer, editor and stand-up comedian from Trinidad and Tobago. The Bread the Devil Knead is her first adult novel. She has written four Young Adult novels, including Home Home , winner of a CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature. She writes and performs stand-up comedy as 'Just Lisa' with her company FemCom TT.
Industry Reviews
'Raw and achingly beautiful, this really is remarkable.' - LoveReading. 'You dip into the first page and don't come up for breath until the last... Thoroughly enjoyable.' - Kei Miller. 'An extraordinary and emotionally immersive novel - the music of Lisa Allen-Agostini's writing voice is gloriously specific to Trinidad, yet this heart-wrenching story of a woman both liberated and in need of liberation has universal resonance. The powerful themes that emerge are both unpredictable and unforgettable, dealing with the masquerade of everyday love as well as hidden secrets that are the legacy of family.' - Margaret Busby. 'As with its protagonist, Alethea, this book strips you down to raw nerve to build you back up again. Allen-Agostini has an unswerving eye with so much: the legacies of familial and sexual violence; the chronic self-suppression of the survivors; and finally, the life-saving and precious human urge to offer true love and friendship.' - Nalo Hopkinson.

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The Bread the Devil Knead - Lisa Allen-Agostini

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