Andre Alexis has described his fictional terrain as “the shifting ground between the imagined life and the life that you live in from day to day.” There’s no better representation of this than the compelling narrative in A, where Alexander Baddeley, a Toronto book reviewer, is obsessed with the work of the elusive and mythical poet Avery Andrews.
Following in the footsteps of countless pilgrims throughout literary history, Baddeley tracks Andrews down, thinking that meeting his literary hero will provide some answers to his lifelong questions about creativity, art, and inspiration.
Though replete with mysticism and allusions to spirituality and the divine, Alexis’s writing in A manages to bring higher-level concepts down to the grassroots level, as the interactions between the two main characters results in a meditation and a revelation about the creative act itself that generates more and more questions about what it really means to be “inspired.”
Andre Alexis was born in Trinidad and grew up in Canada. He is the author of many books including, Fifteen Dogs, winner the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and Days by Moonlight, longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and winner of the 2019 Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His debut novel, Childhood, won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Trillium Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His other books include Pastoral (nominated for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize), A, Asylum, Beauty and Sadness, Ingrid & the Wolf, Despair and Other Stories of Ottawa, and Lambton, Kent and Other Vistas: A Play.
“A is a wondrous piece that deftly plays with the conventions of satire, polemic, and magic realism.” — Quill & Quire (starred review)
“A is a propulsive read, effortless and a little addictive. It is genuinely fascinating, a work whose rich complexities belie its brevity.” — The Winnipeg Review
“Alexis has an astute understanding of the madly shimmering, beautifully weaving patterns created by what we have agreed to call memory.” — Ottawa Citizen
“Alexis already knows what it takes many wise men a lifetime to realize: that neither memory nor history is a straight line.” — Edmonton Journal