“She’s a powerful writer with an imagination that most of us would kill for. I have read everything she has written and am in awe of her many gifts. And her. When Nalo Hopkinson, Canada’s popular fantasy fiction writer, first learned that her Brown Girl in the Ring, the title of Hopkinson’s first novel (published by. Novel Brown Girl in the Ring, by Nalo Hopkinson. I’ve been telling people about Nalo Hopkinson’s book. It is great.” -OCTAVIA BUTLER “Impressive, energetic.
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Many writers and other literary types have been concerned as of late with the idea of queering science fiction, fantasy, and other kinds of speculative fiction, which have an unfortunate but not entirely rinf reputation of glorifying certain kinds of white homophobic masculinity.
The universe of Brown Girl in the Ring is unique and captivating: As a former librarian explains in the first chapter, the collapse can be traced back to a First Nations land claim lawsuit and a related trade embargo; Toronto slowly became a jobless, crime-ridden, lawless place, with the army eventually moving in to occupy and then deserting the war zone.
This dystopian future scenario, probably familiar to any SF readers out there, is cleverly intertwined with Afro-Caribbean magical, mythical, and spiritual systems with which Hopkinson is clearly intimately familiar.
In the book, most of the inhabitants left in Toronto are recent immigrants to Canada, many of them originating from the Caribbean, so this melange is particularly appropriate. Struggling to survive in this strange world is Ti-Jeanne, beown young woman with a new baby, living with her ghe in what used to be the farmhouse at Riverdale Farm —one of the neatthings about the book is imagining a place so familiar, like this tourist attraction historical park, as something utterly other than what it is.
Brown Girl in the Ring (novel) – Wikipedia
It makes the familiar momentarily unfamiliar. I really appreciated the feminist politics of the novel, Ti-Jeanne looking backwards to her mother and grandmother as sources of strength and wisdom.
The twists and turns of the plot are well-crafted, perhaps a bit too neatly: Ti-Jeanne both runs from and toward Tony, the father of her baby, and they, along with her grandmother, become entangled in the nasty business of Rudy, the voodoo mob boss unofficially in charge of Toronto who is hopkijson terrifying. In the midst of all this real-life action, Ti-Jeanne is learning bgown she has the same kind of seer gift rihg mother had—the gift that eventually destroyed her.
There is an important side character who is a self-serving lesbian politician see, queers can be evil just like everyone else!
Brown girl in the ring
What was a bigger gril for me was that I felt Brown Girl in the Ring could have used some more fastidious editing. Some of the language, particularly certain expressions Hopkinson uses, was repetitive, which was also distracting.
She is reading tonight at the Parkdale Library in Toronto, though! Happy Victoria and Toronto Pride!
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
A Moving Novel about Chosen Family caseythecanadianlesbrarian. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account.
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Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian. A Queer Canadian Book Blog: Topics and nwlo dear to her heart include cats, bisexuality, libraries, queer Canadian literature, running, and drinking tea. Find her on Twitter: Some of her old reviews, especially the non-Canadian variety, can be found at the Lesbrary. Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email Address never made public.