Sans Souci, and Other Stories

Dionne Brand, Author Firebrand Books $8.95 (150p) ISBN 978-0-932379-70-2
Brooding, obsessive stories of contemporary black life in Canada and the Caribbean offer an intimate view of women driven by poverty to leave their homes for a hostile new country. Most works are essentially monologues, capturing the language and experiences of illegal aliens isolated yet further by their sex. Brand, the author of several nonfiction titles including Earth Magic , impresses with her fictional debut; her lyrical gifts are unobtrusively displayed, and her characters are affecting. A black nanny in ``No rinsed blue sky, no red flower fences'' lower case per book typography holds her little charges' hands ``as if they were more precious than she, made of gold, and she just the black earth around.'' The narrator of ``At the Lisbon Plate'' detests such black self-abnegation and caustically criticizes the colonial arrogance of books like Camus's The Stranger : ``Killing an Arab . . . is not and never has been an alienating experience for a European.'' Brand's vivid but fragmentary explorations will leave readers eager for a full-length work covering the same terrain. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Paperback - 150 pages - 978-0-88961-196-2
Hardcover - 150 pages - 978-0-932379-71-9
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