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September 2018 Fiction: Canadian

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By (author): Dionne Brand
9780735274235 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Literary Sep 18, 2018
$27.95 CAD
Active 5.59 x 8.28 x 0.85 in 240 pages Knopf Random Vintage Canada Knopf Canada
OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature 2019, Short-listed
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.

DIONNE BRAND’s literary credentials are legion. Her most recent book of poetry, Ossuaries, won the Griffin Poetry Prize; her nine others include winners of the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her novel In Another Place, Not Here was selected as a NYT Book Review Notable Book and a Best Book by the Globe and Mail; At the Full and Change of the Moon was selected a Best Book by the LA Times and What We All Long For won the Toronto Book Award. In 2006, Brand was awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the world of books and writing, and was Toronto’s Poet Laureate from 2009 to 2012. In 2017, she was named to the Order of Canada. Brand is a Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. She lives in Toronto.

Author Residence: Toronto, ON

Author Hometown: Guayaguayare, Trinidad and Tobago

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

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