The extraordinary new novel from the acclaimed writer whose previous book, Martin John, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize, and whose debut, Malarky, won the Amazon First Novel Award.
"My name is Bina and I'm a very busy woman. That's Bye-na, not Beena. I don't know who Beena is but I expect she's having a happy life. I don't know who you are, or the state of your life. But if you've come this way to listen to me, your life will undoubtedly get worse. I'm here to warn you ..."
So begins this "novel in warnings"--an unforgettable tour de force in the voice of an ordinary-extraordinary woman who has simply had enough. Through the character of Bina, who is writing out her story on the backs of discarded envelopes, Anakana Schofield filters a complex moral universe filled with humour and sadness, love and rage, and above all, the consolations, obligations and mysteries of lifelong friendship. A work of great power, skill, and transformative empathy from a unique and astonishing writer.
ANAKANA SCHOFIELD is the author of the acclaimed, Giller Prize-shortlisted novel Martin John (2015), which was also a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize in the UK, a New York Times Editors' Choice, and named a best book of the year by the Wall Street Journal, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Sunday Business Post, Toronto Star, and The Irish Times, among others. Her debut novel Malarky (2012) won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the Debut-Litzer Prize for Fiction in the United States, and was a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Her writing and reviews have appeared in The Guardian, The Irish Times, The Globe and Mail, National Post, London Review of Books blog, and The Long Gaze Back: An Anthology of Irish Women Writers. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Advance praise for Bina:
“Anakana Schofield’s Bina is a fiction of the rarest and darkest kind, a work whose pleasures must be taken measure for measure with its pains. Few writers operate the scales of justice with more precision, and Schofield is no less exacting in what she chooses to weigh. The novel’s themes—male violence, the nature of moral courage, the contemporary problems of truth and individuality, the status of the female voice—could hardly be more timely or germane. Schofield’s sense of injustice is unblinking and without illusion, yet her writing is so vivacious, so full of interest and lust for life: she is the most compassionate of storytellers, wearing the guise of the blackest comedian." —Rachel Cusk, Giller Prize–shortlisted author of Outline and Transit
“Intimate, disarming, and riotous, Bina is a searing exploration of one woman’s soul that unwinds like a reluctant confession. Whether Bina is rescuing a ne’er-do-well from a ditch, taking a hammer to a plane or considering the dark request of her best friend, Schofield has created a compelling, practical everywoman—someone who has had enough and is ready make a spectacle.” —Eden Robinson, Giller Prize–shortlisted author of Son of a Trickster and Monkey Beach
“Insightful. Inventive. Hilarious. Genius.” —Eimear McBride, author of A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, winner of the Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction, and The Lesser Bohemians, winner of the James Tait Memorial Prize
Praise for Anakana Schofield and her previous books, Martin John and Malarky:
“Profane, strange, hilarious, and necessary, Martin John is a beguiling triumph.” —Patrick deWitt, author of French Exit and The Sisters Brothers
“Brilliant. . . . From Martin John’s uncanny repetitions and ellipses, Schofield forges beautiful and thrilling prose-poetry. The atmosphere of her language is stunningly distinctive.” —Literary Review
“Fearless. . . . Schofield pushes the boundaries in careful calibrations of narrative structure and language that bites.” —The Vancouver Sun
“[A]s an avant-garde novelist, Schofield is in a class unto herself.” —The Globe & Mail
“[Martin John] is is an important and brilliantly unconventional work, offering a glimpse into a mind few can ever, or would ever want to, fully understand.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
On Martin John: “The novel all your favourite novelists will be reading.” —Mark Medley, The Globe & Mail
“Malarky spins and glitters like a coin flipped in the air—now searingly tragic, now blackly funny. The language is joyful and exuberant, the characters thoughtful and deeply felt. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.” —Annabel Lyon, author of The Golden Mean
“Malarky is a terrific read, a brilliant collision of heartbreak and hilarity written in a voice that somehow seems both feral and perfectly controlled. Anakana Schofield’s ‘Our Woman’ takes a cool nod at Joyce, then goes her own way in one of the most moving and lyrical debut novels I’ve read.” —Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins
“Anakana Schofield is part of a new wave of wonderful Irish fiction—international in scope and electrically alive.” —Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin
“We become comfortable saying that there’s nothing new, and then something like Malarky comes along, which is new and old and different and familiar, but ultimately itself, comfortable in its own skin, wise and smart and crazy-sexy or maybe sexy-crazy—well, you just have to read it to understand. It’s a novel that sets its own course, sure and steady, even when it seems like it might be about to go over the edge of the world.” —Laura Lippman, author of When She Was Good
“Everything about this primly raunchy, uproarious novel (Malarky) is unexpected—each draught poured from the teapot marks another moment of pure literary audacity.” —Lynn Coady, author of The Antagonist