Bina: A Novel in Warnings

Anakana Schofield. New York Review Books, $17.95 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-68137-549-6
Schofield’s enthralling latest focuses on 74-year-old Bina, a character from her debut, Malarky. Here, Bina writes a tale of female camaraderie, domestic abuse, and legal woes on the back of receipts and bills while lying in bed, accused of assisting in the death of her ill best friend, Phil. Fanatics she refers to as “crusties” keep vigil outside her home in Ireland, while inside, Bina tells her story in bursts, with sentences broken into poetic shapes and pages often left half empty. She writes about Eddie, the violent nephew of a deceased friend, who moved in, taking over her house and entangling himself in a hospital waste-dumping scheme before hightailing it to Canada. Bina also recalls “The Tall Man,” the shadowy leader of a euthanasia group, who recruits Bina and sets her on a journey of helping others die under the guise of a volunteer position with Meals on Wheels. Yet at the center of the novel are Bina’s memories of her friendship with Phil, who acts as Bina’s sounding board for her persistent, overactive consciousness and is “great company even when [Bina] was moaning and deluded.” It’s this bond that makes Schofield’s novel shine. Intriguingly crafted and surprisingly funny, Schofield continues to produce work that challenges conventions and enthralls readers. Agent: Alba Ziegler-Bailey, the Wylie Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 12/15/2020
Release date: 02/02/2021
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-7352-7322-1
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-7352-7321-4
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