- Author Bio
A smart, sensual and witty novel about what happens when love and intellect are set on a collision course. This compact tour de force affirms Dionne Brand’s place as one of Canada’s most dazzling and influential artists.
Theory begins as its narrator sets out, like many a graduate student, to write a wildly ambitious thesis on the past, present, and future of art, culture, race, gender, class, and politics—a revolutionary work that its author believes will synthesize and thereby transform the world.
While our narrator tries to complete this magnum opus, three lovers enter the story, one after the other, each transforming the endeavour: first, there is beautiful and sensual Selah, who scoffs at the narrator’s constant tinkering with academic abstractions; then altruistic and passionate Yara, who rescues every lost soul who crosses her path; and finally, spiritual occultist Odalys, who values magic and superstition over the heady intellectual and cultural circles the narrator aspires to inhabit. Each galvanizing love affair (representing, in turn, the heart, the head and the spirit) upends and reorients the narrator’s life and, inevitably, requires an overhaul of the ever larger and more unwieldy dissertation, with results both humorous and poignant.
By effortlessly telling this short, intense tale in the voice of an unnamed, ungendered (and brilliantly unreliable) narrator, Dionne Brand makes a bold statement not only about love and personhood, but about race and gender—and what can and cannot be articulated in prose when the forces that inhabit the space between words are greater than words themselves.
A gorgeous, profoundly moving, word- and note-perfect novel of ideas that only a great artist at the height of her powers could write.
Story Locale: Toronto, Ontario; Seville, Spain
COMPACT BUT AMBITIOUS: Perhaps her most ambitious and unapologetically philosophical novel to date, Theory is also a propulsive read and wildy entertaining—a lush and intimate novel of ideas grounded in universal themes of love and loss.
COMPANION PIECE: Theory is being published alongside Dionne’s new poetry collection The Blue Clerk. The two books speak to each other thematically and will share certain design elements. A true Canadian publishing event.
A DIONNE BRAND MOMENT: A former Toronto poet laureate, a beloved mentor to countless emerging writers over the years, and recently named to the Order of Canada in 2017—Dionne’s star is brighter than ever, her cred in the Canadian literary community unparalleled.
Marketing: Influencer mailing
Organic social media & newsletter support
Targeted social media advertising
Blank notebook that features Theory on one cover, Blue Clerk on the other
Publicity: Toronto - Book launch
Fall 2018 literary festivals - IFOA accepted. Waiting for invitations from Calgary Wordfest, VIWF
Tour to Montreal
Extensive media coverage - print review
Praise for Dionne Brand:
“A remarkable weaver of language.”—The Edmonton Journal
“[Dionne Brand is] in the first tier of Canadian writers of literary fiction.”—Winnipeg Free Press
“Brand’s Toronto is almost aggressively postmodern—a sensuous, seething metropolis where cultures and ethnicities rub shoulders and coexist in a kind of beautiful tension…. Brand’s sensibility is, unsurprisingly, highly poetic, which lends her prose a certain gnomic quality.”—The Globe and Mail
“Brand roots her novels in the barest of reality; she succeeds in a kind of truth telling that remains with readers long after the book is closed.”—The Upcoming